On a collision course to rock your world
Do you know what happened on 30th June 1908? If not, the United Nation’s hopes to change that with the celebration of World Asteroid Day on 30th June- 2021 marking the 5th year of celebration. In 1908, on 30th June, Earth experienced the largest asteroid impact in recorded history: the Siberia Tunguska event. The explosion occurred over Siberia and flattened an estimated 80 million trees, that’s over 830 square miles of forest. Tunguska is the largest cosmic impact witnessed by modern humans and is characteristic of the sort of impact we are likely to have to protect against in the future. Tunguska led astronomers to research more into possible asteroid collisions ensuring they are best equipped to protect the world from future impacts. This year, World Asteroid Day will celebrate the 2021 launch of three new asteroid missions, NASA’s Lucy, NEA Scout and DART – the world’s first mission to test an asteroid deflection technique.
On the day itself, discussions with be led by key speakers, ranging from World Asteroid Day co-founder and renowned guitarist, Brian May, comedian Bill Nye, NASA scientists and engineers and astronauts who can give insider information about what it is like to see asteroids up close. If you’d like to watch Asteroid Day LIVE will air 30th June via Asteroid Day TV, which can be watched on Asteroid Day’s website, TwitchTV and Youtube. Or you can join in the Asteroid Day conversation on Social Media!
Asteroid day is also the perfect time to explore more about outer space. If you’re using an Android device, ‘Google Sky Map’ app turns your phone into a window on the night sky. Point your phone skywards to visualise stars, planets and constellations in real time as you move your phone across the sky. Using iPhone? ‘Distant Planets’ works in a very similar way, the app ‘Planets’ is also worth checking out and can tell you which objects in the night sky are visible from where you’re standing. Looking to get the whole family involved? Grab some blankets, choose some snacks and wait for it to get dark before turning your phone screens skywards and discovering what is right above you.