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International Asteroid Day, 30 June

by Simon Black on 2020-06-26T08:15:41+10:00 in Global Studies, Science | Comments

Tuesday June 30 is International Asteroid Day!

Background to International Asteroid Day:

Asteroid Day has been celebrated each year on June 30, the anniversary of the Tunguska impact event in 1908, the largest asteroid impact event in recorded human history. On 30 June 1908, an explosion ripped through the air above a remote forest in Siberia, near the Podkamennaya Tunguska river. The fireball is believed to have been 50-100m wide. It depleted 2,000 sq km of the taiga forest in the area, flattening about 80 million trees. The "Tunguska event" produced about 185 times more energy than the Hiroshima atomic bomb (with some estimates coming in even higher). Seismic rumbles were even observed as far away as the UK. BBC (2016).

Why are these space rocks called asteroids?:

Ever since the discovery of the first asteroid, Ceres in 1801, these enigmatic space rocks have been reluctant to give up their secrets. No matter how big the telescopes used to look at them, they have stubbornly refused to appear as anything more than a simple point of light and no details could be seen on these tiny worlds. This is why in 1802, the Hanoverian astronomer William Herschel proposed that they be called asteroid, meaning star-like.

Seeing is believing - the art of asteroid computer simulations:

There is still so much to learn about asteroids, and astronomers are now gathering plenty of data – and all of it needs analysis and interpretation. One of the key modern techniques to do this is data visualisation. Data visualisation is the act of taking numerical information and presenting it in a visual context. In its simplest form, this could be a graph or a map but modern visualisations harness the power of computer graphics to render three dimensional images and even whole movies of scientifically accurate behaviour and movement. Asteroid Foundation (2020).

Source: Asteroid Foundation. (2020).

What Are Asteroids Made From?

Source: BBC. (Producer). (2010). What Are Asteroids Made From? [Online video]. Retrieved from

To learn more about Asteroids, click on the link below:
Further reading on asteroids from the Kerferd Library:
Cover ArtThe Solar System Through Infographics by Nadia Higgins
  • eBook
  • mConnect login required
ISBN: 9781467712897
Publication Date: 2013

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