Asteroid Day is a global movement to protect Earth from asteroid impacts.
5 Days of Asteroid TV is streaming now! Tune in 12PM CEST (6AM ET, 9AM PST) on June 28 (tomorrow) to watch the 6-hour broadcast of Asteroid Day LIVE from Luxembourg.
There are events all over the world. Go to this link to look up events. These events are at NASA and other space agency facilities, planetariums, museums, universities and much more.
Nextbigfuture has covered Asteroid Day 2019 and the science and risks of asteroids.
Asteroid Day was co-founded by astrophysicist and famed musician Dr. Brian May of the rock group QUEEN; Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart; Filmmaker Grig Richters; and B612 President Danica Remy, to promote awareness and provide knowledge to the general public about the importance of asteroids in the formation of our universe and the role they play in our solar system today.
B612 Summarizes the Scope of the Asteroid Issue
B612 is an organization that works towards protecting the Earth from asteroid impacts and informing and forwarding world-wide decision-making on planetary defense issues.
Of the over 18,000 NEOs known today (June 2018), there are nearly 2,000 objects classified as potentially hazardous objects (PHOs).
Global Asteroid Day Events in 2019
Events for Asteroid Day 2019 will take place on all five continents and are in the process of being organized by local organizations, and include:
In Europe: Luxembourg’s Ministry of Education, SpaceResources.lu and National Museum of Natural History are organizing events throughout the country. The Natural History Museum Vienna, Austria, will showcase the world’s largest meteorite collection. In Greece, the new Hellenic Meteorite Museum is hosting a variety of events.
In North America: Events will be held once again at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas, Texas, in addition to other science centers, universities and astronomy clubs throughout the US, Canada and Mexico.
In South America: A group of astronomical backpackers called Mochileros Astronomicos, will hitchhike throughout the region to teach astronomy in schools, planetariums, and communities. Astronomical institutions across Brazil will discuss asteroids at events celebrating 100 years of the International Astronomical Union. Chile will have coordinated activities across the country.
In Africa: Mozambique will host a special presentation about asteroids on National TV (TVM), in coordination with the International Astronomical Union (IAU), at a special session during the National Astronomical Society Meeting. Egypt’s Scientific Society of Astronomy and Space will hold an event called “Asteroids and Safety of The Earth” at the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics in Cairo.
In Asia: Kazakhstan Fesenkov Astrophysical Institute, in Almaty will host lectures and activities for students. Throughout Israel, events are being organized at the Givatayim Observatory, Netanya Planetarium and the Yarqa Space Center.
Preview of 2019 ASTEROID DAY Events in Luxembourg
27 June: Technical Briefing with Asteroid Experts (by invitation)
28 June: Asteroid Day LIVE Global Broadcast-Webcast, produced at RTL Studios
29 June: Astronaut and Asteroid Expert meet and greet (public)
29 June: Gala Dinner in the unique Cercle Cité, Downtown Luxembourg (tickets on sale now)
30 June: Asteroid Day at the National Museum of Natural History: Guided tours of the Meteorite Collection and “Universe” Exhibition; Public Lecture “Asteroids… can we deal with the danger?”; Asteroid Workshop for Youth
Although currently detected risks have been low we are not seeing most of the asteroids.
As of April 2019, twenty thousand near earth asteroids have been found. We are finding them at a rate of 150 new discoveries every month and this number is set to rapidly increase.
NASA’s Pan-STARRS and Catalina sky surveys have detected most of the known near earth asteroids. The European Space Agency will deploy new Flyeye and Test-Bed Telescopes.
The Near Earth Object Survey TELescope (NEOSTEL aka “Flyeye”) is an astronomical survey and early-warning system for detecting near-Earth objects sized 40 meters and above a few weeks before they impact Earth. If we could track all asteroid threats down to 40 meters then we would be safe from impacts down to city level threats.
NEOSTEL is an ESA funded project, starting with an initial prototype currently under construction at OHB in Milan. The telescope is of a new “fly-eye” design inspired by the wide field of vision from a fly’s eye. When complete it will have one of the widest fields of view of any telescope and be able to survey the majority of the visible sky in a single night. If the initial prototype is successful, three more telescopes are planned, in complementary positions around the globe close to the equator.
In terms of light gathering power, the size of the primary mirror is not directly comparable to more conventional telescopes because of the novel design, but is equivalent to a conventional 1 meter telescope and should have a limiting magnitude of around 21.
The project is part of the NEO Segment of ESA’s Space Situational Awareness Programme. The telescope itself should be complete by end of 2019, and installation on Mount Mufara, Sicily should be complete in 2020.
NEOSTEL aka “Flyey
Known Asteroid Risks
This fall, Earth has about a 1-in-7,000 chance of getting hit by asteroid 2006 QV89. Compared to the 6-mile-long (10 kilometers) asteroid that killed the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago, 2006 QV89 is pretty dinky, measuring just 130 feet (40 meters) in diameter, or about the length of two bowling alleys placed end to end.
NASA’s Earth impact monitoring system has detected an asteroid that has a chance of hitting Earth in October. The asteroid, named 2007 FT3, was detected by NASA’s Sentry, an automated system that specifically monitors near-Earth objects that are on potential impact courses with the planet. The asteroids listed by Sentry are those that could hit Earth within the next 100 years.
The earliest possible impact event would occur on Oct. 3. 2019. 2007 FT3’s chances of hitting Earth in October is 1 out of 11 million. Starting in 2024, the asteroid is expected to have near-collisions with Earth on almost a yearly basis.
According to NASA’s database, the asteroid has a diameter of 1,115 feet, making it significantly taller than the Eiffel Tower in France. The space agency predicted that it will enter Earth’s atmosphere with a velocity of 45,600 miles per hour.
Given the asteroid’s size and speed, it will release a huge blast energy if it hits Earth. NASA noted that it will produce an energy equivalent to 2.7 million kilotons of TNT upon impact. This would be 100,000 times the force of the atomic bombs used in WW2.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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