Asteroid Day – Cité de l’Espace

From a 2016 United Nations (UN) statement June 30th IsThe day of the asteroid Or International Asteroid Day. The event, led by scientists and astronauts in particular, seeks to raise awareness among decision makers and the general public about the risks posed by these objects.

Queen’s guitarist in the front row

Asteroids Day was inaugurated by astronaut Rusty Schweicart, a member of the Apollo 9 mission, director Greg Richters, B612 Foundation president Danica Remy and astronomer Brian May. You know the latter for another aspect of his life: he was a famous guitarist Rock band queen !
In the 2015 video below, Brian May explains the asteroid day policy to the British media Guardian.

Asteroid Day actually tries to explain why we need to continue our efforts to identify asteroids and think of ways that will allow us to deviate from a threatening object in the future if the situation arises. On June 30, 2022 International Asteroid Day As a result of several initiatives including a live video on YouTube that you can watch below (once completed, it will become a replay).

The date June 30 was chosen because it coincided with the anniversary of the 1908 Siberian Tunguska event. It is estimated that on this day a relatively small asteroid detaches a few tens of meters wide in the atmosphere at an altitude of 5 to 10 kilometers. The Hiroshima bomb exploded 1000 times. The blast destroyed about 2000 km2 of forest!
An example that supports the Asteroid Day speech. In fact, almost all asteroids are cataloged 1 km wide or more and none are in a state of collision for the moment, spreading the idea that the danger no longer presents any urgency. And yet …

The argument of resistance is gaining ground

In fact hitting an asteroid 1 km or more on Earth would signify the end of our civilization. However, for the moment of dismissal it is necessary to know how to look beyond this ultimate threat. The B612 Foundation and Asteroids Day explain that there is another inadequately considered risk, that current astronomical surveillance telescopes of small asteroids are too late to allow feedback. Hundreds of meters of these objects (a little more or a little less) can do considerable damage to the impact. To make it clear what they are capable of, they have been nicknamed The killers of the city (City killer). And we find the cause of the June 30 date: an event like the Tunguskar of 1908 over a city or populated area would result in one of the most serious natural disasters to be suffered by humanity.
This is also the subject IMAX Movie Asteroid Hunter 3D Toulouse’s Cité de l’espace (below is the trailer in English, Cité de l’espace in French).

However, the method of filming is not catastrophic. Either asteroid day. Conversely, the idea is that we have ways today Detect asteroids The automatic telescopes responsible for this observation before an accident have also increased their performance. This includes NASA’s ATLAS (Asteroid Terrestrial-Empact Last Alert System) which benefited from two new observation sites earlier this year to cover the entire sky. ATLAS was specifically designed to detect The killers of the city. Finally, there are several space agencies working on how we can Deviating asteroids. This is the case with NASA’s Dart mission. On September 26, a probe will voluntarily hit the small moon of the asteroid Didymos so that its orbit can be changed very little (there is no risk for our planet). The goal is to move from theory to practice. In 2026, the European Space Agency (ESA) HERA probe will be sent to Didymos to accurately measure DART impact results and complete the process. In addition, ESA participates in Asteroid Day (video below).

While the planetary defense argument has undoubtedly laid the groundwork for more effective surveillance telescopes and international coordination, the message of Asteroid Day is that we must not rest on our laurels or underestimate the guard and look to the space vault. .

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