Painting an Asteroid to Save Earth
NASA

Asteroid Day is a global awareness campaign created to learn about asteroids and raise awareness the impact hazard they may pose, and what we can do to protect our planet from potential asteroid impacts. Asteroid Day is held each year on the anniversary of the largest impact in recent history, the 1908 Tunguska event in Siberia. At 131 feet across it devastated an unpopulated area about the size of a major metropolitan city, and at that size, its considered to be a relatively small asteroid.

If a "relatively small" asteroid could cause that much destruction, then what about the other asteroids that we have been able to identify in our solar system? What would happen if a larger asteroid entered into the path of Earth's orbit - would there be a way to stop it? Space is a large place; what if we haven't even spotted all the asteroids that COULD pose a problem in the future. It's these questions that prompted Dr. Brian May, Danica Remy (COO of B612), Grigorij Richters and Rusty Schweickart to create Asteroid Day.

Asteroid Day consists of events worldwide ranging in everything from lectures and educational programs and broader community events to television programming and live concerts. The goal is to spread the word about for the need for increased awareness of asteroids.

Part of the Asteroid Day movement is The 100x Asteroid Declaration, calling for increased detection and tracking of asteroids. It has been signed by hundreds of astronauts, scientists, artists and leaders in business and technology as well as thousands of private citizens.

Right now, more than 1M asteroids have the potential to impact Earth and even with our advanced telescopes and technology it's believed that only amounts to 1% of the asteroids out there. Small impacts occur regularly and NASA research shows world-wide efforts to date have found about 95% of the asteroids that could end life on Earth as we know it, if one were to hit us. By looking at what we know about the asteroids considered to be in "near-Earth orbit" and Earth's past impact history, scientists predict Earth will experience another large-scale impact someday. What they can't predict at this time is when.

The signatories of the 100X Declaration believe in advancing technology to both discover and track as many asteroids as possible, and to work on solutions that would help us evade, deflect or prepare for a strike.

Much research is being done in this field, and Asteroid Day is a way of recognizing their efforts and raise support for their work. The ultimate goal is to raise public awareness about asteroid science and plans for planetary defense.

What can you do on Asteroid Day? Plenty! Watch Science Channel tonight at 7pm to learn more about asteroids. Our scientists are going in-depth to explain what they are and what they could do. You can also head over to the live event at Slooh. Their live telescope feeds will be trained on the sky, and their experts will be talking about what threats are out there and looking at current plans to address the them. Plus, you can take action by signing the 100X Asteroid Declaration.

Get ready by checking out our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds and watching asteroid videos right here like the one below:
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