International Asteroid Day

Quick Facts - CA

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2024 DateJune 30, 2024
2025 DateJune 30, 2025

International Asteroid Day

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International Asteroid Day is a global event that aims to raise awareness about the importance of space exploration and the need to protect our planet from asteroid impacts. It was initiated in 2015 by a group of concerned scientists, astronauts, and enthusiasts, including astrophysicist Brian May and filmmaker Grig Richters. The date of June 30th was chosen to commemorate the Tunguska event, a massive explosion caused by an asteroid impact in Siberia on June 30th, 1908.

In Canada, International Asteroid Day is celebrated with various events and activities, such as public lectures and stargazing parties organized by astronomy clubs, universities, and museums. The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) also participates in the event by highlighting Canada's expertise in asteroid research and its efforts to improve planetary defense. In 2019, the CSA announced its participation in NASA's Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, a planetary defense project aimed at deflecting the trajectory of an asteroid in space. International Asteroid Day is observed annually on June 30th.

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International Asteroid Day facts

  • According to theplanets.org, there are more than 600,000 known asteroids in our solar system.
  • The word asteroid was coined by astronomer William Herschel in 1802. It means star like.
  • A well-known and significant impact crater in Canada is the Manicouagan Crater in Quebec, which is one of the oldest impact craters on Earth. It was formed around 214 million years ago and is approximately 100 km in diameter.
  • In 2008, a meteorite known as the Buzzard Coulee meteorite fell in Saskatchewan, Canada. Researchers were able to recover over 1,000 fragments of the meteorite, which has since been an important source of information for studying the parent body of this meteorite, an asteroid.

Top things to do in Canada for International Asteroid Day

  • Tune into the 2021 Asteroid Day program. The program will include interviews with different personnel, it will explore how technologies have changed, and it will explore what the future has in store for asteroid research.
  • Stay informed about upcoming news and events. Asteroid Day periodically posts information about new asteroids that catch NASA's eye. They also feature virtual events or webinars with astronomers and scientists.
  • Watch Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds (2020). Directed by Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer, this documentary explores the cultural, scientific, and historical significance of meteorites and impact craters, including Canada's Mistastin Lake Crater.
  • Read a book to learn more about asteroids in Canada. Here are some suggestions:
    1. The Canadian Space Program: From Black Brant to the International Space Station by Andrew B. Godefroy
    2. Canada and Outer Space: 50 Years in the Making edited by David Wright and Geoffrey Simmins
    3. Canada: 150 Years of Exploration and Science by Canadian Space Agency

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