International Asteroid Day 2020: History, Significance and More
- An asteroid 2020 JX1 may make a close approach today on June 29
- On June 30, no asteroid will fly anywhere near Earth
- Another asteroid named 2019 AC3 may also flyby on July 1
June 30 is Asteroid Day; it is an annual event celebrated to mark the anniversary of Earth's most massive asteroid impact in history, the 1908 Tunguska event. It was the most harmful recorded asteroid-related event on Earth as it destroyed local plants and animals.
An asteroid is a minor planet that didn't develop entirely when the Solar System was born. Million of asteroids exist in the orbit of the Sun, most of them are in the central asteroid belt, the area between the Mars and Jupiter orbits. They are of diverse size and shape because they are created in different locations and different distances from the Sun. They are formed of different kinds of rocks but contain clay or metal, such as nickel and iron.
There have been several reports about asteroids speeding past Earth, with almost the size of a football field. Just at the beginning of June 2020, there were reports of five asteroids passing by Earth, continuously, followed by a larger one recently. The fly-by, by the heavenly bodies, seems apt as International Asteroid Day is celebrated on June 30, every year.
Surprisingly, no asteroid will fly anywhere near Earth on June 30, we will be free of any kind of asteroid threats. However, an asteroid 2020 JX1 may make a close approach today on June 29, and another asteroid named 2019 AC3 may l also flyby on July 1.
History of International Asteroid Day:
On December 2016 the United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/71/90 and declared June 30 as International Asteroid Day. The day marks the anniversary of Earth's most massive asteroid impact in history, the 1908 Tunguska event. It was the most harmful recorded asteroid-related event on Earth as it damaged local plants and animals.
This day is co-founded by an astrophysicist, Dr Brian May, Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart, filmmaker Grig Richters, and B612 Foundation President Danica Remy, and Asteroid Day is a self-motivated educational program to inspire the world about asteroids.
Significance of International Asteroid Day:
United Nations officially decided this day for global awareness about the opportunities and challenges that asteroids present. It also tells about the devastating impact an asteroid has when it crashes to Earth. It also highlights the importance of discovering the objects that pose a threat to our planet and make people aware of what to do if such a situation arises.