Event Blog

Scientists Rock – An Asteroid Day Series!

Watch the entire series, here. You can also download the videos and the subtitles.

Asteroid Day proudly presents the debut of a seven-part film series subtitled in 15 different languages and an introduction by Neil deGrasse Tyson, Director of New York’s Hayden Planetarium. The video series brings to light the origins of Asteroid Day and the importance of asteroid detection, deflection, asteroid characterization, and having an emergency response plan. Each episode is different and gives insight to why asteroid impact awareness is critical.

  • Episode 1: Launching Asteroid Day introduces us to the people and vision behind Asteroid Day, a growing global awareness movement where people from around the world are coming together to learn about asteroids, the hazards they may pose, and how we can do to protect our planet, families, communities, and future generations.
  • Episode 2: Detection. Employing existing and new technologies to detect and track asteroids and demonstrating deflection capabilities to prevent future asteroid impacts could be one of humanity’s greatest achievements in protecting our planet. Episode 2 explores the topic of asteroid detection, where scientists, astronauts, and asteroid experts discuss what’s known about the NEO population and Earth’s impact history, and why asteroid detection is the critical first step. We can’t stop what we can’t see.
  • Episode 3: Deflection. Asteroid Day experts talk about the importance of developing deflection strategies and various methods of response, from the Gravity Tractor to the ESA mission AIM. The unifying theme is that the more we learn about all of these objects, test and evaluate, the more we can be prepared for a possible impact or prevent it from happening. When you want to interact with such a body and try to deflect it, it can be very tricky, so testing is essential.
  • Episode 4: Characterisation. When a survey discovers an asteroid, we try to characterise the object from its orbital elements. When dealing with near-Earth objects beyond the orbital elements, we need to find out how fast it is rotating, what it’s made out of, and what are its surface properties. Did Asteroids bring the minerals and water to create life on Earth and also have the ability to end it?
  • Episode 5: Emergency Response. Asteroid impacts are serious risks and we need to be prepared for an impact large enough to destroy civilization or small enough to devastate a city. Asteroid Day experts provide insight into asteroid emergency response, deflection mission timing, and the importance of having contingency plans pre-designed.
  • Episode 6: Politics. When experts working in the field of planetary defense determine that an asteroid threat is emerging, decisions must be made on how to act and how to communicate this threat to the public. Governments are traditionally challenged to make those decisions quickly. Global awareness and communication of where asteroids are, their properties and where they are headed is vital to designing a comprehensive planetary defense strategy.
  • Episode 7: Amateur Asteroid Hunters share their experiences and how asteroid detection information is becoming more accessible for amateurs to observe, follow up and refine orbits and measurements. Citizen scientists play an essential role in expanding the planetary defense community.

The series celebrates the work of asteroid experts, scientists, astronauts, and policymakers, with interviews with Mark Boslough, Stephen Hawking, Ed Lu, Bill Nye, Patrick Michel, Lynne Jones, Lord Martin Rees, Rusty Schweickart, and Carolyn Shoemaker. It also highlights upcoming missions to search for and study near-Earth asteroids: Asteroid Impact & Deflection Assessment (AIDA) mission, a joint project of ESA and NASA; OSIRIS-REx, NEOCam and Hayabusa2.

The video series can be found on YouTube, or you download the videos and access subtitles with instructions on how to use them, here.

Jennifer Arriaga

The author Jennifer Arriaga

Jennifer is the Asteroid Day Events Communication Manager. Born on April 26, 1996 in Long Beach, California. Jennifer continued to live in Long Beach, until 2014 when she graduated from Robert A Millikan High School. As a first generation student, Jennifer is currently in her second year at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is working towards a Bachelors in Science in the field of Astrophysics. She’s involved in the Women in Physics and Society of Physics Students organization at the institution.