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World Asteroid Day 2023: History, Significance, and Ways to Celebrate

World Asteroid Day is an annual event that takes place on June 30th to raise awareness about asteroids and their potential risks to our planet. Read on to know more about it.

By: MD IJAJ KHAN
Updated on: Jun 30 2023, 09:50 IST
World Asteroid Day: Raising awareness about asteroid risks to our planet, observed on June 30th. (Pixabay)
World Asteroid Day: Raising awareness about asteroid risks to our planet, observed on June 30th. (Pixabay)

World Asteroid Day is an annual event that takes place on June 30th to raise awareness about asteroids and their potential risks to our planet. This significant date was chosen to commemorate the Tunguska event, an enormous explosion caused by a asteroid in Siberia in 1908.

History of World Asteroid Day

The establishment of World Asteroid Day dates back to 2014 when Brian May, known for his role in the rock group Queen, joined forces with Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart, filmmaker Grig Richters, and B612 Foundation president Danica Remy.

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The specific date of June 30th was selected to honour the Tunguska event, which occurred on June 30, 1908. During this incident, a large asteroid exploded in the atmosphere over Siberia, Russia, resulting in the flattening of approximately 2,150 square kilometres (830 square miles) of forest. Since then, there have been several other instances of near misses with asteroids, including the Chelyabinsk asteroid that exploded over Russia in 2013, causing significant damage and injuring over 1,500 people.

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Significance of World Asteroid Day 2023

World Asteroid Day holds great significance as it fosters understanding about asteroids and their crucial role in the formation of our solar system. Furthermore, it intends to educate the public on the possible threats posed by near-Earth asteroids, emphasising the significance of discovering and tracking them in order to avoid catastrophic impacts.

Across the globe, numerous events are organised where scientists, astronauts, astronomers, and experts from various fields come together to share their knowledge and research on asteroids. Workshops, seminars, and public lectures are conducted to engage the public and increase awareness regarding the necessity of asteroid detection and mitigation strategies.

Ways to Celebrate World Asteroid Day 2023

Here are some suggestions for celebrating World Asteroid Day 2023:

1. Educate Yourself: Dedicate some time to learning more about asteroids, their composition, and their potential impact on Earth. Explore books, documentaries, or official websites for a deeper understanding.

2. Attend Events: Check for local events in your area that commemorate World Asteroid Day. Participate in lectures, workshops, or conversations about asteroids and their importance. Additionally, virtual events may also be available.

3. Raising Awareness: Use social media channels to spread knowledge about asteroids, their possible hazards, and the necessity of asteroid analysis. Help educate others by raising awareness online.

4.Visit an Observatory or Planetarium: Make plans to visit an observatory or planetarium that has programmes about asteroids. These institutions often have exhibits or shows dedicated to celestial objects, including asteroids. Take advantage of the opportunity to learn from specialists and explore the night sky through telescopes.

5. Organise a stargazing event or simply spend the night under the sky with friends or family. Learn about different constellations, where they may be found in the sky, and try to detect any visible asteroids using binoculars or a telescope.

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First Published Date: 30 Jun, 09:45 IST

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