International Asteroid Day

International Asteroid Day is an annual event which is held on the anniversary of the Siberian Tunguska event that took place on June 30th 1908. It is unclear whether the explosion was caused by a comet or an asteroid, but it flattened 22,000 square kilometers of forest.

Asteroid Day was founded 2014 by filmmaker Grigorij Richters, Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart, Queen guitarist and astrophysicist, Brian May, and the B612 Foundation, a NGO dedicated to the defense of the Earth against asteroids. Over 200 astronauts, scientists, technologists and artists have signed the Asteroid Day Declaration.

More than 1M asteroids have the potential to impact Earth and through all the available telescopes worldwide, we have discovered only about one percent. The 100X Declaration calls for increasing the asteroid discovery rate to 100,000 (or 100x) per year within the next 10 years. “The more we learn about asteroid impacts, the clearer it became that the human race has been living on borrowed time,” remarked Brian May. “Asteroid Day and the 100X Declaration are ways for the public to contribute to an awareness of the Earth’s vulnerability and the realization that Asteroids hit Earth all the time.” Asteroid Day would [be] the vehicle to garner public support to increase our knowledge of when asteroids might strike and how we can protect ourselves.”

About the Asteroid Day Declaration
Map showing the approximate location of the Tunguska event of 1908.  Created by Bobby D. Bryant and available under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.
Map showing the approximate location of the Tunguska event of 1908. Created by Bobby D. Bryant and available under a CC BY-SA 3.0 license.

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