Today is the second annual Asteroid Day, dedicated to increasing awareness of asteroids, the threat they may pose to our planet, and what we can do to prevent impacts.
As part of the global observation, the organizers have produced
all sorts of educational and fun videos for people to enjoy,
including a special Asteroid Day Series narrated by
the one-and-only Neil deGrasse Tyson. See the first episode below.
Why promote interest in asteroids?
Well, here’s a graph of the more than 1,400 Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs)
that NASA knew were whizzing around near our planet in 2013.
Click the image to enlarge.
And, remember, this graph is dated.
More recently —only this month, in fact — NASA announced
that Earth has a buddy asteroid orbiting the sun and our planet
that we didn’t even know was there until now.
And don’t forget about the fireball that lit up the night sky over Arizona a few weeks ago — one of a steady stream of surprise small impacts and close shaves
we’re hearing more about lately.
So you can see why NASA now has one program called the Near Earth Object Program,
and another called the NASA Asteroid Redirect Mission…
…and still another called Planetary Defense,
which one Planetary Defense Officer calls “a team sport.”
It really reminds you to appreciate every day we have
on this fragile, beautiful planet of ours, doesn’t it?
• Learn more about Asteroid Day here, here, here and here.
• Learn more about asteroids in general here.
• Learn more about asteroids near our planet right now here
• Join the effort to track asteroids here.
• See more images and videos of asteroids and comets here.
Happy Fourth of July!
It is amazing