International Asteroid Day

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2024 Date30 June 2024
2025 Date30 June 2025

International Asteroid Day

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International Asteroid Day is a global event observed annually to raise awareness about the potential hazards of asteroids and their impact on our planet. The day serves as a platform to educate people about the significance of monitoring and detecting celestial bodies that could pose a threat to Earth. By engaging scientists, astronomers, and space enthusiasts, the observance aims to foster a better understanding of asteroids, their origins, and the vital role they play in our solar system in promoting an international collaborative effort.

The origin of International Asteroid Day dates back to 2014, when co-founder Grig Richters directed a film about the disastrous consequences of an asteroid impact on Earth. The next year, the United Nations officially designated International Asteroid Day to recognize the importance of addressing the risk of asteroid collisions. In India, there has been growing concern about the increasing instances of asteroid near-misses in recent years. Observing International Asteroid Day enables the Indian scientific community and the public to understand the significance of monitoring and mitigating such potential threats, helping the nation enhance its preparedness for these cosmic occurrences.

As part of International Asteroid Day, India actively participates in various activities aimed at raising awareness and facilitating learning about asteroids. Indian educational institutions, research organizations, and space enthusiasts organize seminars, webinars, workshops, and exhibitions showcasing the latest advancements in asteroid research and detection technologies. By engaging students, teachers, and the general public in these activities, India commemorates this essential event and unites with the rest of the world in better understanding and addressing the challenges posed by asteroids. In India, International Asteroid Day is observed annually on June 30th, coinciding with the global commemoration.

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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.
  • In 2020, Aman Sharma, a 17-year-old student from Gurugram, India, discovered a near-Earth asteroid, which he named HLV2514.
  • Dr. Vishnu Reddy, an Indian planetary scientist, played a significant part in the NASA-led OSIRIS-REx mission, which aimed to study the asteroid Bennu and return samples to Earth.

Top things to do in India 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 a documentary to learn more about asteroids. Here are some suggestions:
    1. The Asteroid Impact by National Geographic
    2. The Universe: Asteroid Attack by The History Channel
    3. The Real Face of the Asteroid Impact by Discovery Channel
  • Read a book to learn more about asteroids in India. Here are our recommendations:
    1. India's Rise as a Space Power by U.R. Rao
    2. Indian Astronomy - An Introduction by M. S. Sriram
    3. Earth Science in India: A Collection of Research Papers by Various Authors

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