World Asteroid Day is observed globally on June 30 every year to raise public awareness about asteroid’s hazardous effect and the measures that should be taken in case of a near-earth object threat. The United Nation General Assembly designated the day as the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, which happened in 1908. Tunguska is the largest asteroid till date that affected the earth.
The day was co-founded by scientist Stephen Hawking, filmmaker Grigorij Richters, B612 Foundation President, Danica Remy, Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart, and Brian May, guitarist of the rock band Queen and astrophysicist. Here’s all you need to know about the asteroid and World Asteroid Day.
What is an asteroid?
Asteroids are small, rocky objects orbiting the Sun. They are also known as leftover material of the Solar System and found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Their size ranges from about the size of pebbles to around 600 miles across. There are several hundred thousand asteroids believed to exist in our Solar System.
World Asteroid Day: History
The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution A/RES/71/90 in December 2016 and declared June 30 as International Asteroid Day. The day marks the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, Russian Federation, on June 30, 1908. The General Assembly took the decision on the basis of a proposal made by the Association of Space Explorers and the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
Space agencies in several countries like ESA (European Space Agency), JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency), Roscosmos (Russia), ISRO (India), and NASA (USA) organize events on this day to educate common people about the impact of asteroids and meteors.
World Asteroid Day: Significance
An organization named B612 works towards protecting the Earth from asteroid impacts. The Asteroid Day is observed to make people understand that asteroids pose a risk to our planet and hence it should be discovered.