On Tuesday last week, a group of international astronomers met to kick-off plans for the annual Asteroid Day to be hell on June 30, 2016.
Not surprisingly, this is the same date that marks the anniversary of an event that occurred in 1908 – the Chelyabinsk explosion. On this day, a large space object busted in the air just above the Russian settlement and in the process, it destroyed up to 770 square miles of the area’s plantation. The explosion also left more than 1,500 people injured.
June 30 is the set date and according to the latest reports, scientists have baptized this date Asteroid Day. The event gives them an opportunity to raise awareness with respect to the research needed in matters regarding near-surface space objects.
The meeting was held on February 9 with the organizers seeking support for the much-needed research on impact avoidance. The meeting was also used to roll out plans for the 2016 event. In order to avoid what happened more than a century ago, the astronomers organizing the Asteroid Day believe that with more research, the world has a better chance of surviving any such incidences from near-Earth space objects. In addition, people will be ready to face the impacts of such happenings.
“An event such as the Chelyabinsk happens once in 50 years,” Sandia National Laboratories’ Mark Boslough noted. “But we don’t have a [suitable] system designed to discover as well as track these happenings.”
On the other hand, Grig Richters, who is an Asteroid Day co-founder, said that this event has nothing to do with instilling fear in people; rather, it is a way of getting them ready through awareness.
“This isn’t about fear-mongering,” Richters said. “It is about being aware that there is a huge, potential threat, and understanding better where we come from.” The essence of Asteroid Day, according to these experts, is to educate the public on matters of near-Earth space objects, their occurrence as well as their impact. In this way, it is a lot easier to be better equipped as far as preparation, impact prediction, as well as impact avoidance, are concerned.