The fifth annual International Asteroid Day happens on Sunday, June 30, 2019. Recognized by the United Nations, Asteroid Day marks a global opportunity to raise awareness of the threat and opportunity posed by the numerous rocky bodies zooming through space. A five-day broadcast – on asteroids and space topics – began on June 27 and is still running today. Here’s a program schedule, plus how to watch, wherever you are.
Central to Asteroid Day this year is what’s called the 100x Declaration, calling for a 100-fold increase in the detection and monitoring of asteroids. Signed to date by more than 50,000 people around the world, the Declaration resolves to “solve humanity’s greatest challenges to safeguard our families and quality of life on Earth in the future.” If you want to sign, the online Declaration is here.
This year, Asteroid Day events will focus on the role of asteroids in the formation of our solar system and advances in technology to better detect, track and analyze asteroids and review our ability to deflect a rogue asteroid headed towards Earth.
Asteroid Day events range from asteroid quizzes in a Dublin bar, to high-level discussions of policy and programs at the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. View a list of events around the world. To find an Asteroid Day event near you, scroll down to the middle of the page and enter your location.
The @UN officially designated #AsteroidDay in a global movement to protect our planet. Join us and learn more.
Follow @AsteroidDay and sign the 100X Declaration https://t.co/vu6pmKG6Nm pic.twitter.com/2f7JFR5esC
— Asteroid Day ? (@AsteroidDay) June 22, 2019
Asteroid Day is held on the anniversary of the most devastating asteroid impact in Earth’s recent history – an event that took place on June 30, 1908, known as the Tunguska explosion, when a small asteroid struck the Earth over Tunguska, Siberia. Here’s the premise of Asteroid Day, in the words of co-founder Brian May, astrophysicist, guitarist and songwriter for the band Queen:
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. Asteroids are a natural disaster we know how to prevent.
The story of Asteroid Day.
For asteroid news and updates, follow AsteroidWatch on Twitter.
Bottom line: International Asteroid Day 2019 happens on Sunday, June 30.
Eleanor Imster has helped write and edit EarthSky since 1995. She was an integral part of the award-winning EarthSky radio series almost since it began until it ended in 2013. Today, as Lead Editor at EarthSky.org, she helps present the science and nature stories and photos you enjoy. She also serves as one of the voices of EarthSky on social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and G+. She and her husband live in Tennessee and have two grown sons.