Asteroid Day was co-instituted in 2014 by Dr. Brian May (astrophysicist and lead guitarist for the rock band QUEEN), Danica Remy (B612 President), Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart, and filmmaker Grig Richters. Asteroid Day is held on June 30 each year to mark the date of Earth’s largest asteroid impact in recorded history, the Siberia Tunguska event that took place on June 30, 1908. In 2016, with the support and leadership of the Association of Space Explorers (ASE), the United Nations declared Asteroid Day to be a global day of education to raise awareness and impart knowledge about steroids to the general public.
Major events in past years have taken place in London, San Francisco, Washington D.C, Tanzania, Milan and Rimini in Italy, Garching, Germany, Santiago in Chile, and Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, in addition to thousands of events across various locations worldwide.
In the past, African countries like Tanzania, Madagascar, Egypt, Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria have organised events to commemorate Asteroid Day. This year, Nigeria, Mozambique, Tunisia, Morocco, Tanzania and Egypt already have Asteroid Day events scheduled. Themes of Asteroid Day 2019 range from the science of asteroids in the formation of our solar system to discussions of new space industries accelerating technologies to advance space-based activities.
In Nigeria, the NASRDA Centre for Basic Space Science in Nsukka will mark Asteroid Day at the CBSS Observatory Complex, Eburummiri Ununkashi, Nsukka, Enugu State with the theme “Creating Awareness on the Dangers of Asteroids and how we can protect our planet“.
The Tunisian Astronomical Society (SAT) will mark the event at Parc de Sidi Bou Saïd. More details about the event are available here. In Agadir (Morocco), the University Museum of Meteorites will host an exhibition on meteorites that crash frequently on Moroccan soil.
“This day is an opportunity to raise awareness and take stock of the threats posed by these projectiles from space”, said Prof. Abderrahmane Ibhi, the organiser of the exhibition.
Mozambique will host a special presentation about asteroids on National TV (TVM), in conjunction with the International Astronomical Union (IAU), at a special session during the National Astronomical Society Meeting. More information is available here.
In Tanzania, Asteroid Day will be held at the Mbozi Meteorite in Southern Tanzania by the Astronomy and Space Science Association of Tanzania (ASSAT). Up north, 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.
Asteroid Day events around the world are open to the public, so don’t hesitate to participate in the one nearest to you and learn more about asteroids.