If you are a citizen of planet Earth, then you’ll wanto mark June 30, 2017, in your calendar as the International Asteroid Day. United Nations General Assembly stated on Wednesday that this day will receive a deeper meaning from now on.
In 1908, people will never forget how the Tunguska asteroid destroyed over 770 square of ground in Siberia. This massive explosion led to the annihilation of millions of trees in just a matter of seconds. Even though the event has a high negative impact on internationals news, United Nations still proceeded with officially marking it down on the calendar.
This gesture intends to raise awareness of the fact that asteroid hazard continues to remain a possibility for the future. Starting with naming the International Asteroid Day, authorities hope to mobilize public efforts with the main goal of creating necessary measures in case of another space rock impact. While the Tunguska asteroid landed in a barren field, it could have destroyed entire cities if its trajectory was different. Scientists are not able yet to redirect such a massive asteroid outside its initial direction.
At this moment, only the Planetary Defense Coordination Office from the United States is paying attention to possible space threats to Earth. This NASA project is also working on possible solutions in case an asteroid hits a populated area. In late October, the office announced a new milestone reached by their Near Earth Object Program. Scientists are now surveilling over 15,000 rocks that are located near Earth.
A disaster the size of Armageddon has chances to happen only once in a million years. However, it is inevitable that this event will eventually take place. As the necessary measures that can protect us against a killer asteroid take time, NASA believes that it is better to start the mobilization sooner than later. Such scenarios of low probability but fatal impact are a priority for scientists.
Brian May, the guitarist from the music band Queen, is one of the three founders of Asteroid Day. He has a Ph.D. in astrophysics actually as of 2007 and has chosen June 30 as an important date long before the UN recognition. By making this day official, he hopes to keep the world safe from an eventual asteroid impact.
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