Scientists and scholars, astrophysicists and engineers, students and academics will gather next week in 192 countries to be part of Asteroid Day, the official United Nations’ day of awareness and education about asteroids. Asteroid Day is a program of the Asteroid Foundation, a Luxembourg nonprofit organization.
Events for Asteroid Day’s fifth anniversary 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, DC.
Sample of Events in 2019:
● At Washington, DC’s Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum (NASM), an expert panel will be held on 30 June, led by Asteroid Day Expert and Astronaut Tom Jones with Ellen Stofan, NASM Director; Jim Zimbelman, NASM geologist; Lindley Johnson, NASA, Kelly Fast, NASA; and Elena Adams, PhD, DART Mission.
● Asteroid Day Japan is hosting Asteroid Day expert Makoto Yoshkkawa, mission manager of the Hayabusa2 mission, at the Sundai Gukuen in Tokyo. The event is linked to five additional sites around Japan: Sunday Gakuen, Tokyo; Kakuta Space tower Cosmo-house Miyagi; Kawaijuka, Chigusa-kou, Nagoya; Saji AstroPark, Tottori, and Yamaguchi Museum, Yamaguchi.
● Asteroid Day Austria is hosting an event at the Natural History Museum in Vienna which highlights the 50th anniversary of the Allende and Murchison meteors, part of the world’s largest meteorite collection.
● Asteroid Day Greece is hosting at the Greek Meteorite Museum
● In Luxembourg, public events will take place throughout the city, organized by the Minister of Education, Luxembourg Space Agency and the National Museum of Natural History in coordination with the Asteroid Foundation.
A listing of all events in Luxembourg and worldwide can be found at https://asteroidday.org
ASTEROID DAY LIVE
A new program of Asteroid Day 2019 is Asteroid Day TV, the only dedicated on-air programming about space and asteroids. A pre-programmed five-day broadcast begins 27 June at 12:00 CEST and features content from 2018 Asteroid Day LIVE, as well as original asteroid content from partners. Worldwide distribution is offered via a dedicated SES satellite and online. On 28 June Broadcast Center Europe (BCE) will produce the 2019 six-hour Asteroid Day LIVE production from Luxembourg City. Twitch TV is Asteroid Day’s online broadcast partner.
In addition to public events, Asteroid Foundation offers technical briefings for journalists with Asteroid Day experts and six astronauts on 27 June in Luxembourg. Three astronauts will visit local Luxembourg schools during the week.
Central to Asteroid Day is the 100x Declaration, calling for the 100-fold increase in the detection and monitoring of asteroids. Signed to date by more than tens of thousands of 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. The Declaration is available online for the signature of all world citizens concerned about advancing asteroid research and technology.
Asteroid Day was co-founded in 2014, by Dr. Brian May, astrophysicist and lead guitarist for “Queen”; B612 President, Danica Remy; Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart; and filmmaker Grig Richters. Asteroid Day is held on and around 30 June each year to mark Earth’s largest asteroid impact in recorded history, the Siberia Tunguska event. In 2016, Asteroid Day was declared by the United Nations as a global day of education to raise awareness about asteroids opportunities and risks and in 2016 Asteroid Day formed Asteroid Foundation to be its headquarters in Luxembourg, with support from the Luxembourg Ministry of Economy. Global partners include: Association of Space Explorers, B612, ESA, OHB SE, SES, BCE, EC GROUP, and Luxembourg Space Agency. Asteroid Day Gala sponsors in 2019 include Tito’s Homemade Vodka, Luxaviation, SnT, and Banque Internationale à Luxembourg.
Photos: Asteroid Day Newsroom