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Asteroid Day Raises Awareness About Asteroid Threat

1 Jul 2015, 01:29 UTC
Asteroid Day Raises Awareness About Asteroid Threat
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A new campaign aims to raise awareness of the threat posed by near-Earth asteroids.

The Asteroid Day campaign kicked off its inaugural celebration on Tuesday marking the 107th anniversary of the Tunguska Event. The campaign was formed on Dec. 3, 2014 with the goal of creating a global day of awareness around the threat posed by near-Earth objects.

On June 30, 1908, a near-Earth object impacted the Earth’s atmosphere over the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Siberia with enough force to level 80 million trees over more than 800 square miles. Estimates suggest that it exploded with 1,000 times the energy produced by the atomic bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima.

According to Asteroid Day, there are 1 million asteroids in the solar system that have the potential to impact Earth and destroy a city, however, less than 10,000 of them have been discovered to date, representing just one percent of the threat. Asteroid Day proposes increasing this rate of discovery to 100,000 per year over the course of the next ten years.

The goal of the Asteroid Day campaign is to increase the pace of discovery and tracking of near-Earth objects by a factor of 100. This would rapidly accelerate ...

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