International Asteroid Day Date in the current year: June 30, 2024

International Asteroid Day Asteroid Day, also referred to as International Asteroid Day, is observed annually on June 30. This annual global event was initiated by Brian May, Danica Remy, Grigorij Richters and Rusty Schweickart, and officially endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly.

Brian May is best known as the lead guitarist of the legendary rock band Queen, but he is also an accomplished astrophysicist. In 2014, he began working with director Grigorij Richters on a film that tells a story of a fictional asteroid impact on London and the consequences of such an event. Richters directed the film, and May composed the score.

The film premiered at the 2014 Starmus International Festival, a gathering that focuses on celebrating space exploration, astronomy, allied sciences, music, and art. Several months later, May and Richters officially announced Asteroid Day during a press conference.

Asteroid Day is a global awareness campaign that aims to raise awareness of asteroids and the danger they pose to Earth, as well as about what can be done to protect the planet. The date of June 30 was chosen because it is the anniversary of the 1908 Tunguska event, a large explosion in Siberia that is considered to be the largest and most harmful impact event in Earth’s recorded history.

Among scientists, astronauts and artists who co-signed the Asteroid Day Declaration were NASA astronauts Chris Hadfield and Rusty Schweickhart, ethologist and biologist Richard Dawkins, television presenter and science communicator Bill Nye, musician Peter Gabriel, cosmonaut Alexey Leonov, astronomer and physicist Kip Thorne, cosmologist and astrophysicist Martin Rees, physicist Brian Cox, and many others.

The first Asteroid Day was held on June 30, 2015. It was supported by organizations and institutions such as the Science Museum in London, the American Natural History Museum, the Natural History Museum of Vienna, the European Space Agency, the UK Space Agency, the SETI Institute, and more. The United Nations General Assembly officially endorsed Asteroid Day in December 2016.

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Asteroid Day, International Asteroid Day, UN observance, global awareness campaign, Brian May. Grigorij Richters