Asteroid Day is an annual global movement to increase public awareness of potential asteroid impacts with Earth, and the importance of guarding against them. It was co-founded in 2015 by Brian May, astrophysicist and lead guitarist for the rock band Queen, Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart, and German filmmaker Grig Richters.
The Asteroid Day co-founders drafted the 100× Asteroid declaration endorsed by astronauts, nobel laureates, business leaders and space buffs alike. In December 2016 the United Nations General Assembly officially declared 30 June as international Asteroid Day to raise awareness of the threats and opportunities these space rocks present.
30 June marks Earth’s largest asteroid impact in recorded history, the Siberia Tunguska event, which devastated over 2000 sq km, the equivalent area of a major metropolitan city.
On this day, Asteroid Day is broadcast live across the globe with a packed programme that brings together astronauts, rock stars and scientists. Highlighting our potentially vulnerable place in space, the live event also describes the many ingenious and yet not-far-from scifi potential solutions to these dangerous roaming rocks. Hundreds of local events are also organised each year in over 75 countries.
ESA has actively participated in the Asteroid Day celebrations since 2016, with ESA scientists and asteroid experts joining in panel discussions, giving presentations and co-hosting events.