Every June 30, the entire world celebrates the Asteroids. Why should we celebrate hazardous celestial objects that send humans to extinction? This article will enlighten you on why we celebrate Asteroids today.
What are Asteroids?
Asteroids are popularly known as the building blocks of planets and moons. They are classified as small rocky bodies that orbit around the sun. Since asteroids are leftover of planets, moons, and the sun, they exist in different sizes and shapes.
Asteroids are mostly found in excess within the asteroid belt. The asteroid belt is located between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter. We also have Asteroids in low earth orbits, including over 2000 hazardous Asteroids.
World Asteroid Day: Why do we celebrate Asteroids?
Before the existence of living organisms on Earth, Asteroids have been in existence. In fact, our planet’s crust was formed out of the heavy collision of Asteroids around 4.5 billion years ago. After earth healed from its formation, living organisms came into existence billions of years later.
Evolution played its role and the Dinosaurs came into existence. But around 66 million years ago, an asteroid from deep space collided with earth and wiped out the Dinosaurs. The Dinosaurs lived up to 165 million years before an asteroid sent them to extinction.
This implies that asteroids have the potential of sending living species into extinction. Hence, Asteroids are celebrated every June 30 to remind us about the catastrophic impact Asteroids could cause on our planet. This celebration raises awareness about the risks of hazardous asteroids’ impact on Earth.
The celebration is mostly observed worldwide by people interested in space and earth science. Many notable organizations are creating awareness about the devastating impact of hazardous asteroids like B612. Let’s support these organizations to spread the message about asteroid impact to everyone.
World Asteroid Day: History of World Asteroid Day
In December 2016, the United Nations accepted the resolution A/RES/7.1/90. They also mapped out June 30 annually as International Asteroid Day. But why did the UN choose June? Well, this date was not selected at random. The reason can be traced back over a century ago.
On June 30, 1908, the Tunguska Asteroid impact took over Siberia. The impact occurred around 7:14 am at an altitude of 15000 to 30000 feet (5 – 10 Km) on that fateful day. It flattened over 2,000 square km and over 100 square km of the nearby forest.
Experts estimated the impact of the Tunguska Asteroid to be about thousand times more energetic and powerful than the atomic bomb that ravaged Hiroshima, Japan in 1945. So, the impact of the asteroid was actually too powerful for the international community to ignore.
So the idea of International Asteroid Day was initiated by the Association of Space Explorers. The committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) also endorsed the idea. Ever since the United Nations adopted the resolution in 2016, everyone has come to celebrate the asteroid on June 30 annually.
World Asteroid Day 2022: Great Lesson For Everyone
The Asteroid Impact that struck Siberia on June 30, 1908, should remind everyone about the destruction these wandering space rocks could wreak if they eventually collide with earth. We should all create awareness to inform everyone about the destruction associated with an asteroid impact.
Although not all asteroids pose a threat to our planet, there are still several hazardous asteroids that can cause a devastating impact on our planet. Let’s hope that we create technologies that can redirect asteroids in the future.
Through this tactic, we can protect our home planet from the event of asteroid impacts and make the world a safe place for the next generation.
On November 24, 2021, NASA launched the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission into space to learn how to redirect asteroids in the future. The outcome of this mission will move us a step closer to redirecting asteroids if they ever make their way towards earth or our technologies in space.
World Asteroid Day 2022 has continued to remind everyone of the destruction an asteroid impact can create. As we work towards the future where we will possess technologies to redirect asteroids, let’s create awareness and teach everyone around us about asteroid impact. What are your thoughts about this unique celebration?