SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–What began as a passion of a handful of individuals, a musician,
filmmaker, technologist, scientist and astronaut, has become a global
movement by thousands to increase awareness and education about
asteroids. Supported by 22 global partners, scores of international
agencies, 72 space travelers from 12 nations, leaders in business and
finance, parents and youth, Asteroid
Day 2016 will include hundreds of events on and around June 30, 2016.
Professor Stephen Hawking, who will participate in the Starmus
Festival, an Asteroid Day event, states that, “One of the major
threats to intelligent life in our universe is a high probability of an
asteroid colliding with inhabitable planets.”
“Our goal is to dedicate one day each year to learn about asteroids, the
origins of our universe, and to support the resources necessary to see,
track and deflect dangerous asteroids from Earth’s orbital path,”
explains Dr. Brian May, astrophysicist, guitarist and songwriter for
QUEEN who co-founded Asteroid Day. “Asteroids are a natural disaster we
know how to prevent.”
This is the premise of Asteroid Day.
Asteroid Day is held on the anniversary of the largest asteroid impact
of Earth in recorded history. On June 30, 1908, a relatively small
asteroid (40 meters) exploded over Tunguska, Siberia, releasing the
equivalent of 100 tons of TNT, devastating an area of about 800 square
miles, the size of any major metropolitan city.
Events for Asteroid Day will be held on all five continents and include
films, concerts, interactive workshops and expert panels with engineers,
scientists and astronauts and special programs for youth.
San Francisco’s California
Academy of Sciences will host a day program for youth, followed by
an evening program for adults, with screening of their newest
planetarium show, Incoming!,
exploring asteroids, comets, and the hard-hitting stories of our cosmic
New Film Series
Asteroid Day Co-founder Grig Richters will debut a seven-part film
series, with an introduction by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of New
York’s Hayden Planetarium. The series celebrates the work of asteroid
experts, scientists, astronauts, and policymakers, with interviews with
Mark Boslough, Stephen Hawking, Ed Lu, Bill Nye, Patrick Michel, Lynne
Jones, Lord Martin Rees, Rusty Schweickart, and Carolyn Shoemaker. It
also highlights upcoming missions to search for and study near-Earth
asteroids: Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission, a
joint project of ESA and NASA; OSIRIS-REx, NEOCam and Hayabusa2.
European Space Agency (ESA) is a premier partner of Asteroid Day.
ESA asteroid specialists will be participating at public events in
Barcelona, Munich and Heidelberg, sharing details of the European
component of AIDA, as well as ESA’s Space Situational Awareness program.
“This program looks at Near Earth Objects, logging any that might one
day pose an impact threat to our planet,” comments ESA
Director-General Jan Woerner. “We are also proposing to start the
Asteroid Impact Mission, to perform a close-up survey of a tiny asteroid
while at the same time the NASA DART spacecraft crashes into it,
attempting to shift its orbit.”
Asteroid Day media partner, Discovery
Science, the only global network dedicated entirely to the wonders
of science, will launch “Countdown to Asteroid Day,” a special
programming block beginning 20th June, to be aired globally
in the lead up to June 30 events. On Asteroid Day, Discovery Science
will dedicate the entire day to asteroid programming, leading with two
one-hour premiere titles: Man Vs. Asteroid: An Asteroid Day
Special, and The Man Who Tweeted Earth, a profile of Canadian
Astronaut Chris Hadfield. Discovery Science reaches 72 million US
households and 97 million households internationally across 159
countries and territories.
Founding partners of Asteroid Day include: The Association
of Space Explorers, B612,
Academy of Sciences, The
Planetary Society, Natural
History Museum of Vienna, and Starmus,
which all will be hosting events in 2016.
Media materials, including a downloadable press kit with quotes from
supporters and partners, photos, video, and BROLL, are available in the Asteroid
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