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Asteroid day, a day to know about the space bodies which can take us back to the origin of solar system and can help us to solve many mysteries regarding the universe, a day to know about the space rocks which are millions in numbers with very small size but are capable enough to bring devastation on a large scale if they strike our planet. Although the probability for the same is very less but it cannot be ignored.

So, to make the people aware about the Asteroid, it is a day which is celebrated globally throughout the world on 30th June and in this year it would be the 3rd anniversary of this after getting started in 2015.

The main aim of this celebration is to learn about the asteroids, the threat that they present to our planet and to study about these amazing celestial bodies. The other reasons for studying about the asteroids can be following

  • Because some asteroids orbit around the Sun in paths shaped like elongated ovals, they cross the Earth’s orbit every so often. And sometimes, they come very close to the Earth itself and can cause mass destruction if it strikes with Earth.
  • The asteroids can also be the source of many valuable metals and to investigate the feasibility of such operations, we need to know more about asteroid composition.

This event is also celebrated to put a reminder to one of the very devastating tragedy that took place on 30th June 1908 at Tunguska, Siberia which is the largest asteroid impact event recorded so far. How much dangerous an asteroid impact is? It can be thought off from the fact that in the Tunguska Tragedy an asteroid or other space rock of around 40 meters in diameter burst off in the air and due to the shockwave created 2000 square km of area, majorly consisting of forest, collapsed.

According to Grigorji Richters, co-founder of Asteroid Day “This is not about fear-mongering.  It’s about being aware there is a potential threat, and understanding better where we are from.” The idea of asteroid day was conceptualized in February 2014 by Brian May and Grigorji Richters after the movie “51 degrees of North” which was the story of a fictional asteroid impact on London and the human condition resulting from such an event directed by Grigorji Richters. It was officially announced in a press conference in October 2014.

The first asteroid day was celebrated on 30th June 2015. Over 600 events were conducted in global activities on June 30th in its first two years across 78 countries. 41 astronauts and cosmonauts participated in activities on the day and in its resolution the United Nations declared 30th June as the “International Asteroid Day” to observe each year at the international level to commemorate the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia.

In the past 3 years, 72 new near Earth-objects have been discovered. Of those, 8 are classified as potentially hazardous to our planet, and could approach or hit Earth one day. Right now, NASA’s Near Earth-Object Program says there are no big asteroids at risk of of hitting Earth anytime soon. But let’s take a moment to remember the damage caused by a small meteor back in Siberia.

So let’s come up and learn about these millions of asteroids on this asteroid day and what we can do to protect our planet from their impact.

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