What began as a passion of a handful of individuals, a musician, filmmaker, technologist, scientist and astronaut, has become a global movement by thousands to increase awareness and education about asteroids. Supported by 22 global partners, scores of international agencies, 72 space travelers from 12 nations, leaders in business and finance, parents and youth, Asteroid Day 2016 (http://asteroidday.org/) will include hundreds of events on and around June 30, 2016.
Professor Stephen Hawking, who will participate in the Starmus Festival (http://www.starmus.com/), an Asteroid Day event, states that “One of the major threats to intelligent life in our universe is a high probability of an asteroid colliding with inhabitable planets.”
“Our goal is to dedicate one day each year to learn about asteroids, the origins of our universe, and to support the resources necessary to see, track and deflect dangerous asteroids from Earth’s orbital path,” explains Dr. Brian May, astrophysicist, guitarist and songwriter for QUEEN who co-founded Asteroid Day. “Asteroids are a natural disaster we know how to prevent.”
This is the premise of Asteroid Day.
Asteroid Day is held on the anniversary of the largest asteroid impact of Earth in recorded history. On June 30, 1908, a relatively small asteroid (40 meters) exploded over Tunguska, Siberia, releasing the equivalent of 100 tons of TNT, devastating an area of about 800 square miles, the size of any major metropolitan city.
Events for Asteroid Day will be held on all five continents and include films, concerts, interactive workshops and expert panels with engineers, scientists and astronauts and special programs for youth.