International Asteroid Day
30 June, 2021
An asteroid is a body of rock that orbits the sun. Large numbers of asteroids are found between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. International Asteroid Day, founded in 2016, is to observe each year at the international level the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, Russian Federation on 30th June 1908 and to raise awareness about the asteroid impact hazard. Witnesses reported seeing a bluish light moving across the sky, followed by the loud blast from the Tunguska asteroid in the atmosphere (the asteroid never striking earth) and the flattening of 80 million trees over 2,150 square kilometres of forest. According to NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Objects (NEOs), there are more than 16,000 near earth asteroids. The International Asteroid Warning Network (IAWN) uses well-defined communication plans and protocols to assist in the analysis of possible consequences of an asteroid impact and to support the planning of mitigation responses. The Space Mission Planning Advisory Group (SMPAG) is an inter-space agency forum that identifies technologies needed for near-Earth Object deflection, and aims to build consensus on recommendations for planetary defense measures.