International Asteroid Day

Quick Facts - GB

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2024 Date30 June 2024
2025 Date30 June 2025

International Asteroid Day

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International Asteroid Day History

International Asteroid Day is a global awareness campaign to promote the importance of asteroids and raise awareness about the potential threat they pose to Earth. It aims to educate people about asteroids and their impact on our planet, and encourages individuals and governments to take action by supporting the development of asteroid detection and defense technologies.

The observance also marks the anniversary of the Tunguska event. This was the most significant asteroid impact in recent history, which occurred on June 30th, 1908, in Siberia, Russia. The explosion from the impact leveled trees across 800 square miles and had an estimated energy equivalent to 15 megatons of TNT.

The United Kingdom has been actively participating in International Asteroid Day since its inception in 2015. Various events are organized across the country to raise awareness about asteroids and their impact on Earth. From keynote speeches to documentaries, workshops, and educational programs, these events seek to provide the public with information on what asteroids are, how they travel through space, and what steps are being taken to predict and prevent impact. International Asteroid Day is observed annually on June 30th.

International Asteroid Day facts

  • According to, 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.
  • British astronomers have discovered several Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), including the asteroid 2012 DA14, which passed extremely close to Earth in 2013, and the asteroid 2004 MN4, later named Apophis, which is expected to approach Earth in 2029.
  • The UK also plays a role in asteroid mining efforts, with companies such as the London-based Asteroid Mining Corporation working on plans to mine valuable resources from asteroids.

Top things to do in the UK 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 in the United Kingdom. Here are our top picks:
    1. 51 Degrees North (2015) - A British sci-fi drama that follows a group of people in London as they await the impact of an approaching asteroid.
    2. Asteroid: Final Impact (2015) - A sci-fi disaster film about a deadly meteor storm and the race to save the Earth from a massive asteroid.
    3. Horizon: Killer Asteroids (2004) - An episode of the long-running BBC documentary series that delves into the potential threat of asteroid impacts and what can be done to prevent a possible disaster.
  • Read a book to learn more about asterioids in the United Kingdom. Here are some recommendations:
    1. Near-Earth Objects: Finding Them Before They Find Us by Donald K. Yeomans
    2. Asteroid: Earth Destroyer or New Frontier? by Patricia Barnes-Svarney

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