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London Calling!

Imperial College London

Debbie Lewis, one of the experts of the Asteroid Day Expert Panel (ADXP), has been involved in Asteroid Day since the beginning. Deeply committed to the cause, she is the driving force behind the organisation of an Asteroid Day UK event at the Imperial College in London.

London Programme

Asteroid Day at the Imperial College will kick off at 10 AM BST.

10.15 AM – Taking the Hit

After a short introduction by Helen Sharman, the first Briton in space, Debbie Lewis will take the stage with a presentation title on the need for effective civil protection strategies to better respond to asteroid impacts.

10.50 AM – Asteroid Post Discovery Information  For Hazard Mitigation

Clemens Rumpf gives a talk on what sets the asteroid threat apart from other disasters: Its predictability and preventability. After an asteroid is discovered, information on it can help to minimise and mitigate its threat.

11.25 AM – AIDA – The First Asteroid Impact Mitigation Test Mission?

Listen to Simon Green talk about the joint NASA/ESA mission AIDA projected to test a kinetic impactor in 2022. Learn all you need to know about spacecraft used, the mission status, motivation behind it, and its importance for planetary defence.

12.00 PM – “We’re All Going to Die!”

Jerry Stone on the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago and what humanity can do to escape the same fate.

2.00 PM – Dr. Brian May’s Astro Stereo Photography – Illustrated with full screen 3D Projection

After a lunch break, Denis Pellerin takes over, presenting an annotated stereoscopic picture gallery of astronomical 3-D, using a new full screen 3-D projection system. The presentation features images from the earliest lunar stereos to the most recent data from NASA and ESA mission.

2.35 PM – Amateurs and NEO Follow Up

Amateurs astronomers have been essential to confirm observations and measurements of asteroid orbits. Peter Birtwhistle explains what ever-improving professional surveys and technological advances mean for today’s amateurs.

3.10 PM – Spaceguard Centre – National Near-Earth Object Information Centre

Jonathan Tate will focus on UK-specific aspects of NEO information and observation. While Spaceguard UK and the Spaceguard Centre are established actors in the field of asteroid mitigation nowadays, it took a long political battle to get there.

3.45 PM – How to Survive an Asteroid Impact Event

Prof. Lewis Dartnell gives a lecture on the societal effects of an asteroid impact. How would society rebuild in the aftermath and what role would science play in preventing humankind from falling back into the Dark Ages?

After a Plenary Session at 4.20 PM, the Imperial College event finishes at 5.00 PM.

For more information on the speakers and individual programme points of Asteroid Day UK at the Imperial College, please have a look at this document detailing the event and its outline.

 

The event will take place at the Imperial College, London on Friday, June 30th from 10 AM – 5 PM BST, at the following address:

Lecture Theatre 1
Blackett Laboratory, Physics
Prince Consort Road
Kensington, London, SW7 2AZ

If you’re outside of the UK and would still love to attend an Asteroid Day event, please consult our Events section and map for more information on events near you!

If no event is taking place in your vicinity, why not tune in to Asteroid Day LIVE on June 30th? Find all the related information below:

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ArticleEvent Blog

Mexico Calling

Andrés Eloy Martínez Rojas

Over the course of the next weeks we are planning on highlighting some of the people involved in Asteroid Day, from independent international organisers, experts on asteroids, to key participants in our live broadcast from Luxembourg on June 30.

Today, we are kicking off with Andrés Eloy Martínez Rojas, a Mexican astronomer and regional coordinator of Asteroid Day Mexico. Yesterday, he spoke to Mexican newspaper La Jornada about his involvement in the global event and the search for near-earth objects in Mexico.

Involvement in Mexican Legislation

Andrés Martínez has been a strong advocate of space threats in his country’s civil defense plan. In 2013, he took the lead on proposing a legislative project that treats space hazards as another, new type of natural disaster. His initiative was passed into Mexican law in 2014, establishing a plan of action to monitor solar activity and detect solar flares that could cause communication problems or knock out the entire electric grid. The new law set up measures to safeguard telecommunications systems, public safety and supply lines in an emergency. The same year, Andrés Martínez founded SCiESMEX, the Mexican space weather service, at the National Autonomous University of Mexico to observe such phenomena and operate an early warning system.

Being prepared

But Andrés Martínez does not believe in fear mongering. To him, planetary defense is about preparedness, treating impacts just like any other natural disaster: “It’s not about causing irrational panic. Fortunately, asteroid and meteoroid impacts don’t occur frequently.” Governments should nevertheless use our technological capacities to detect and track these objects, and eventually develop capabilities to deflect them to avoid future disasters, he told the newspaper. “This could be the biggest achievement of humankind.” Explaining why Mexico’s civil defense law (Ley General de Protección Civil) he worked on is close to his heart, Andrés Martínez stated that in a Mexican context an impact of a comparatively small Tunguska-sized meteoroid in the Zócalo main square in Mexico City, would affect an area of 10 km in all directions. “We need to be prepared for this. In many countries there are response protocols for these cases. Mexico only created the ‘astronomical risk’ category in their civil defense plan last year. Through its geophysical institute, the National Autonomous University of Mexico has installed cameras all across the country to keep an eye on meteoroids crossing the sky.”

Public participation

The astronomer also pointed out that anyone interested can take part in monitoring space, all they need is a medium-sized telescope with an 8 cm aperture, and a lot of patience. “Robotic telescopes search the sky for asteroids autonomously already. Unfortunately, due to their price of more than 40 million pesos (1,949,572 euros or 2,128,351 US dollars) they are not accessible to the majority of the population. Therefore, I believe that projects like Asteroid Day can help to expand the network of observers in Mexico.”

If you want to learn about Asteroid Day in Mexico or take part in a local event, please visit our dedicated Asteroid Day Mexico page. To read the entire Spanish La Jornada article about Andrés Eloy Martínez Rojas, follow this link.

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Event BlogNews

Update from the Luxembourg Office

Blog

With a little less than two months to go until Asteroid Day 2017 is upon us, preparations in our new headquarters in Luxembourg are up and running. We have some exciting ideas to keep you informed about our progress here and get you in touch with experts. In the weeks leading up to June 30, they will share their knowledge and experience with all of you out there. Make sure to keep checking in on our blog here (or subscribe to our RSS feed) and follow us on our social media channels to be the first to hear about what we have up our sleeves.

For now, we are happy to announce that we simplified the process to access 51° North, The film that inspired Asteroid Day, directed by co-founder Grigorij Richters with music by Dr. Brian May. Event organisers who want to screen it at their local Asteroid Day event can now simply fill out this form on the film page in the Resources section of our website, choose their preferred language and proceed to download it from a dedicated Google Drive. We are also continually looking to get the film’s subtitles translated into new languages to render it accessible for an even larger number of people. If you’re up to the task, let us know and we’ll provide you with the English subtitles file!

And finally, let me quickly introduce myself: I’m Pol, I’m from Luxembourg, and I will be working as Communications Manager for Asteroid Day from now on. I will be bringing you the newest developments and news from our headquarters and am rather excited to have joined the Asteroid Day team here. When I’m not sitting in our Luxembourg office, I love to travel and spend time outdoors, always up to scale mountains wherever I can find them. Having previously worked in Switzerland probably got me hooked on high altitudes – climbing to 3,698 m isn’t quite space yet, but you know, it’s a good first step in the right direction! And while I have been fascinated with space exploration since seeing slides of the first moon landing as a kid, so far I never had the chance to actually work in this area. So naturally, I am quite looking forward to all the projects ahead of us and meeting actual people that ventured beyond our pale blue dot.

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The Story of Asteroid Day Haiti

Peter Rulx Theo

 

Why am I personally supporting Asteroid Day?

I am personally supporting Asteroid Day because I want my people (Haitians) to know the truth about asteroids and what to expect from them. We used to have some natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes but an asteroid impact would be incredibly different and global! Many questions have already come from the community about rocks coming from the sky and the only answer they had for most of the time is from religious interpretations. Despite being an OBGYN, I have also been an astronomy lover since my childhood and have been trained from many books and MOOCs. I have also been involved in Dr. Lisa Harvey-Smith’s Professional Astronomy Research Experience: Magnetic Fields in Space (https://www.lisaharveysmith.com/) and an Astronomy Expert university program in Bircham International University (http://www.bircham.edu/ ).

What am I doing for Asteroid Day?

I plan to have a national conference at the HQ of our association “Société Haïtienne d’Astronomie” (Haitian Astronomical Society). We have purchased some materials from a budget supported by online fundraising. At the moment we are now actively sending out invitations to our event. Our focus is the national media. Meanwhile, we have some regional broadcasts in astronomy where we talk also about asteroids and the Asteroid Day.

What challenges am I facing/have I faced in your preparation of events for Asteroid Day?
The biggest challenge is to have people respond effectively to the invitation. In fact, they are so saturated by local social, economical & political troubles. But we plan to send and to re-send the invitations; our public banners are almost done.

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Asteroid Day UpdatesEvent BlogNews

Posters for Asteroid Day | Designers wanted!

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Hello,

We are looking for a poster designer to help us create posters for Asteroid Day. Asteroid Day is a UN sanctioned global event held annually on June 30 that promotes and educates the world about asteroids and what we can do to protect our planet.

We are looking for someone to create a poster that event organizers and coordinators can use across 200+ countries to promote their events locally, regionally, and nationally. We will credit you for your work.

If interested please email events@asteroidday.org

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ArticleEvent BlogEvent Reports

Why are we supporting Asteroid Day?

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This article was written by M. Martínez-Jiménez and J. M. Trigo-Rodríguez from the Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC), Meteorites, Minor bodies and Planetary Science Group, Barcelona. J. M. Trigo-Rodríguez is an Asteroid Day supporter and organiser of the Asteroid Day Premier event in Barcelona, Spain.

 

IT IS ABOUT POPULARIZING ASTEROID SCIENCE AND IMPACT HAZARD

Asteroid Day is a global movement where people from around the world come together to give awareness of asteroids to the society. Thus, the aim of this annual ephemerid is to learn about asteroids, from the threat they represent to our Planet, to the study of these amazing bodies that can provide the clues for understanding the Solar System origin and evolution. Besides, recently, there is another branch that starts to be considered, which is mining mineral resources in asteroids, for example Platinum Group Elements (PGEs), as well as water for human life supply in space exploration. From the Institute of Space Sciences (IEEC-CSIC) in Barcelona we are dealing with the study of the physico-chemical properties and the dynamic origin of meteorites, our available asteroid-forming materials, to contribute to answer some of the open questions on these issues.

Our implication in the Asteroid Day movement started in 2015 with our involvement in the organization of a Barcelona double event: a scientific workshop dealing with hot topics in impact hazard, and an outreach talk given by Spanish astronaut Pedro Duque. These activities took place respectively in our research institute and in the Parc de Recerca de la Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). As a significant product of the 2015 scientific encounter, this year Springer will release a proceedings book titled “Assessment and Mitigation of Asteroid Impact Hazards” edited by J.M. Trigo-Rodríguez, Maria Gritsevich and Herbert Palme and to be published in the Astrophysics and Space Science Proceedings Series.

Why are we committed to celebrate this event every June 30th? Simply because we want to put a key reminder in our agenda: the anniversary of the Tunguska event, the largest contemporary asteroid impact recorded so far, which occurred in 1908 and devastated over 2000 km 2 of Siberian taiga. We are exposed to asteroid hazard as many other atmospheric explosions have been recorded since then. We now probably care more about this hazard because we start to be conscious: instrument sensitivity to detect them has improved considerably over the last decades, using different techniques. Also our ability to detect them has significantly increased. Telescopic surveys have achieved a quite complete database of Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs) up to sizes larger than about 300 meters, and are constraining the population of bodies that suppose a direct risk to us. So far 1,706 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs) have been discovered, being asteroids experiencing close approaches to the Earth and hence that are potentially threatening our planet. Unfortunately, this number only represents a small percent of the total number of objects that can strike Earth. Indeed, Earth-based surveys are not able to detect most bodies in determinate entry geometries (e.g. towards the direction of the Sun), and we still miss part of the high-inclination population. These are factors causing that some asteroids or extinct comets experiencing close approaches to Earth are discovered with just few weeks of margin. All these are reasons to claim for a dedicated infrared space telescope that can deal with the challenging properties of these bodies: low reflectivity, and larger impact velocities. In front of this, Asteroid Day claims people from all over the world to discuss and debate this important issue in order to rise the awareness about asteroid impacts.

With events like Chelyabinsk (~20 m diameter, 15th February 2013), where more than 1200 people were injured, it was demonstrated the significant power of a relatively small asteroid impact, and the big danger associated with its shock wave. Although statistics about asteroid size impacts in specific time scales are not clear since we have a short historic memory, it is expected that a Chelyabinsk-class impact happens few times per century.

Our research group has also identified that some PHAs can be sources of meter-sized projectiles, probably as consequence of the disruption of their weak structures that are characteristic of rubble piles during close approaches to the terrestrial planets. The success of the Stardust NASA mission to sample materials from comet 81P/Wild 2 promoted the development of space missions addressed to the exploration and sample return of minor bodies. The golden age of the exploration of asteroids has probably started with Hayabusa (JAXA) mission to asteroid 25143 Itokawa who was not only a great scientific achievement to understand rubble piles, but which also included successful sample return. That specific goal, bringing back to Earth pristine materials from undifferentiated bodies, will concentrate the efforts of the forthcoming Hayabusa 2 (JAXA) and OSIRIS-REx (NASA) missions addressed respectively to asteroids 162173 Ryugu and 101955 Bennu. Hopefully NASA and ESA will join soon efforts in the AIDA joint mission to binary asteroid 65803 Didymos. Such joint mission will test for the first time the kinetic impact techniques needed to deflect future asteroid close encounters with the Earth. Consequently, there is no doubt that we are living a new era in the exploration of Solar System minor bodies, and we want take part of this international movement. This year our contribution wants to popularize the AIDA mission in Spain, and our Barcelona event will include a round table about asteroid deflection techniques, and an open debate with the public after the invited conference describing AIDA by Michael Küppers (ESAC). We encourage you to join AD events worldwide for being part of this unique movement to save us from our grazing rocky neighbors. Really, it is time for action!

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Event Blog

DISCOVERY SCIENCE

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Asteroid Day media partner, Discovery Science, the only global network dedicated entirely to the wonders of science, launched “Countdown to Asteroid Day” aired globally in the lead up to June 30 events. On Asteroid Day, June 30th, Discovery Science is dedicating the entire day to asteroid programming, leading with two one-hour premiere titles: Man Vs. Asteroid: An Asteroid Day Special, and The Man Who Tweeted Earth, a profile of Canadian Astronaut Chris Hadfield. Discovery Science reaches 72 million US households and 97 million households  internationally across 159 countries and territories.

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Event Blog

LIVE STREAMS

esa live stream

Happy Asteroid Day! Join us in the experience by tuning into all the great live stream events going on around the world. Asteroid Day is a locally organized effort with a growing number of live streams. Over last year, the live stream growth rate is testament to the hard work of Asteroid Day organisers around the world.  True to any kind of live event with live people there maybe last minute program adjusts and some technical difficulties.  Asteroid Day Global has no control over the local event programs.

Please note that our LIVE BLOG begins on June 29 at 5PM PST // 1AM BST (June 30) and the feature film 51º NORTH can now be watched for free, here.

Our partner, the European Space Agency is hosting an AMA on Reddit. The AMA will take place at 14:45 GMT / 16:45 CEST on reddit.com/r/IAmA (but will appear there only a few hours before it starts).

GMT/ UTC Time Zone Live Stream
Check your local listings The Man Who Tweeted Earth
Check your local listings Man Vs. Asteroid
11:00 Facebook Live with astronaut Dorin Prunariu powered by Discovery Romania
12:30 Facebook Live Coverage powered by ESA
13:00-16:30 Small Bodies Assessment Group powered by NASA (Requires code to login which is provided on the SBAG site)
13:45 Facebook Live Coverage powered by ESA ESTEC in the Netherlands, talking about our Asteroid Impact Candidate Mission
17:00-19:00 ESA live stream – a meeting with astronomers and experts on space missions
17:30 Asteroid Day Global interviews Debbie Lewis
18:00 Dante Lauretta, Professor of Planetary Science in the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, interview with Asteroid Day Global
19:00 Intro Italian Stream
19:00 Astronaut Tom Jones powered by Virtual Telescope
19:30 Grig Richters powered by Virtual Telescope
19:30 Scott Manley from CalAcademy powered by B612 and Asteroid Day
19:45-22:00 Italian Virtual Telescope Live Stream – Il Regno degli Asteroidi scienza, storia e osservazioni online
20:30 Geoff Notkin from CalAcademy powered by B612 and Asteroid Day
21:15 Lynne Jones from CalAcademy powered by B612 and Asteroid Day
22:30 Scott Manley from CalAcademy powered by B612 and Asteroid Day
23:00 Live Stream powered by Slooh
23:00 “A Journey Across Near-Earth Asteroids: science, history, real-time observations”
23:10 Eric Christiensen from Catalina Sky Survey powered by Virtual Telescope
23:45 Mike Schwartz from Tenagra Obs powered by Virtual Telescope
24:00 Ed Lu, astronaut and Asteroid Day supporter, is giving a live interview with Slooh.
0:30 Asteroid Day expert Debbie Lewis powered Virtual Telescope
1:00 Jay Tate from The Spaceguard Centre powered by Virtual Telescope
1:00 Arecibo – “A Journey Across Near-Earth Asteroids: science, history, real-time observations”
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Event Blog

Event Characteristic for Success

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In 2015, our first year of celebrating Asteroid Day, we had two premier events, one in San Francisco and one in London. Now, the second year of Asteroid Day, we have six! Asteroid Day hopes the number of premier events increases each year as the global movement expands. Premier events get some important support from Asteroid Day.  First we use the Premier events in our press releases and our publications as great examples of locally organized events.  We are highly responsive to the Premier events because they have shown us they are strong and capable partners.

To be considered an Asteroid Day premier event, there are a few characteristics an event should demonstrate and actions an event organiser generally takes to execute a successful event. First and foremost, all events should be registered on http://events.asteroidday.org. An event should be listed with detailed event information (or a link to a detailed program), photos, a program, and contact information. Event organisers should engage in regular communication with the Asteroid Day team, sharing information in advance about the event, and publication of activities that demonstrates advance planning. We highly encourage and expect premier events to send photos and videos before and after the event along with press mentions. Organisers should post their photos and videos online and provide some content on their event listings to us so we can post or repost online. These visual and program details are important for the Asteroid Day team when writing blog posts to promote events or when sending out PR alerts to the public. We are looking for groups that seek press and use social media to let their community know about their event. Whether they are one person or whole organization, it’s’ about making sure the public can find your event. All event organisers can take steps and actions to transform their event into a premier-status event.

We put two events side-by-side to demonstrate examples of events which met the characteristics of what we imagined would be premier events. One example is a returning Asteroid Day event, hosted in Chile, which took a national approach to Asteroid Day by creating events throughout their country and how their efforts moved them up to be a Premier Asteroid Day event this year. The other event we wanted to share is an upcoming local events in Måløv, Denmark, that we consider as a possible premier event candidate for next year’s Asteroid Day in 2017.

We highlighted how each event met the characteristics Asteroid Day believes makes a great local event partner to this global effort. Asteroid Day would not be possible without the local event organisers and their extraordinary efforts. There are so many great events going on all over the world on June 30th, and we hope many event organisers will work towards becoming premier event partners to Asteroid Day.

Category Characteristic National Local
Chile (Returning Event) Denmark (New Event)
Context:
Scale of Asteroid Day Event 17 national events in collaboration with 15 institutions the country of Chile 2 events collaboration with 3 institution in Måløv, Denmark
Leveraged a Network An astronomical research center, leveraged their connections with other institutions to create a network of events across the country on Asteroid Day in 2015 & 2016. One enthusiastic individual created two

Asteroid Day events, one more relaxing event showing the film 51 Degrees North. And the other more scientific in

practice, in collaboration with NEOShield-2 and his local library for the general public.

Program:
Created Audience Engagement as part of the program(s) Chile had many events across their country but an example of engagement includes their “Asteroid Day’s Short Story Contest” Students from all parts of Chile were invited to face an exciting new challenge: to write a story in only 108 words commemorating the 108 year anniversary of the Tunguska event. At the Denmark event hosted in collaboration with the library, there is a reserved time for a little break to enjoy toast and ice cream at Café Iglo. This is the Prize give-away for guests who say they’re attending the Asteroid Day event. There will also be a raffle with some astro-prices.
Utilized the right caliber of speakers for anticipated audience Through their national network of institutions Chile leveraged higher academic educational speakers as well as kid-friendly programs and activities as part of their program, held in multiple regions across the country. Denmark’s organizer made use of our expert panel by inviting one of them to participate via Skype. The organiser himself has also some scientific background, and has also been an active amateur observer of asteroids. He has also done some kid-friendly space-outreach activities.
Documented program details clearly and made information available
( on their website or events.asteroidday.org)
Provided a list of the 15 institutions involved each has an event page and website.  The various organizations had different level of published information but many had a webpage for their unique event.  Created event page for many of the events  at events.asteroidday.org The Denmark organizer provided name, context, and background information on all speakers presenting. He created event pages for each event on Asteroid Day website and mentioned his collaboration with Airbus Defence & Space, NEOShield-2,  DTU Space, Catalina Sky Survey, and Lunar & Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona, etc.
Communications:
Engaged in regular communications with Asteroid Day team
(Timeliness in communications and publication of activities that demonstrates advance planning)
Contacted events@asteroidday.org  with updates on their events and were very responsive to emails sent out. Introduced themselves to the events communication manager and explained their plan for Asteroid Day. Always provided details about his events, with links to his event page for reference. Asked questions and got in contact with events@asteroidday.org in advance for resources such as the film 51 Degrees North. He also contacted an Asteroid Day Expert Panel member.
Submitted photos before event

(to their events.asteroiday.org listing and emailed events@asteroidday.org )

Submitted posters of their event program and promotional tools.
Submitted photos and videos after event

(to their events.asteroiday.org listing and emailed events@asteroidday.org )

Sent photos and video after their event last year along with press mentions.
Promotion:
Utilized Social Media Very active on Facebook. Posted a status every day about their progress leading up to Asteroid Day. Active on Twitter and Facebook. Created Facebook event for his Asteroid Day event.Tweeted about his events using #AsteroidDay as well as retweeted Asteroid Day tweets. He also made his own YouTube video to better engage the public and to promote his events.
Issued a press release Sent us a copy and link to the press release for their event and of the short story contest. View it, here. Contacted his local newspaper and an

independent radio station of national coverage.

 

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