Asteroid Day is a global movement to protect Earth from Asteroids. Or, as it says on asteroidday.org: “It’s a global awareness movement where people from around the world come together to learn about asteroids and what we can do to protect our planet, our families, communities, and future generations. Asteroid Day will be held on the anniversary of the 1908 Siberian Tunguska event, the largest asteroid impact on Earth in recent history”. Which is tomorrow, 30 June 2015.
I know I have a lot of readers who know even less about astronomy and science than I do as an amateur, citizen scientist, but don’t get me wrong: this is not another doomsday prediction. I try to pay as little attention to those silly but annoying announced apocalyptic events, which are usually not based on facts and evidentially, none of these forecasts have actually happened so far. So, we haven’t found an asteroid of which we can say it’s going to destroy our home on a certain date – yet.
But, according to this declaration you can sign, stating your concerns, there are a million asteroids in our solar system that have the potential to strike Earth and destroy a city, yet we have discovered less than 10,000 — just one percent — of them. And if you’re now thinking: “Yeah, well, you never know what’s going to happen and I will probably be dead by the time this happens”, then you might be right. Because we don’t know (yet) if an asteroid will hit us in another hundred year’s time or, say, next week.
Should we panic then? No, but let’s also not be dinosaurs. As Bill Nye, who’s one of the esteemed scientists who signed the declaration, said: “Someday humankind will have to prevent an asteroid impact. We will need to work together to get it done. The first step toward protecting our planet is to find and track the swarm of space rocks that cross orbit with Earth. Let’s get going!”
So tomorrow will be the first global Asteroid Day, to raise awareness of the fact we need to act now. If you want to add your name to the list of people who’ve said: “Yes I think this is important, please do something about this” too, then you can find the petition on asteroidday.org.
On there you can also find a list of cool events, such as the premiere of the film 51 Degrees North in London, the Science Museum. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it, but I thought I should bring it to your attention anyway. My pal Brian May has written the music for it and I can’t wait to see the result. I’m going to end here with a little interview he did, in which he gives away only a little bit of why this movie is so unique.