Virtual Public Events to Commemorate Asteroid Day

June 22, 2021

Virtual Public Events to Commemorate Asteroid Day

In 2016, June 30 was declared International Asteroid Day by the United Nations to commemorate the 1908 Tunguska impact in Siberia on the same day. Through local events organized in over 190 countries worldwide, Asteroid Day brings together people interested in space and asteroids from different backgrounds, cultures, and life experiences. Asteroid Day shares information and teaches about the science, opportunities, and risks of asteroids while continuing to inspire people and young minds to look up into the sky and to be excited about our solar system.

The Lunar and Planetary Institute (LPI) is pleased to share two upcoming Asteroid Day virtual events featuring LPI Principal Scientist Dr. David Kring.

Defending Planet Earth:  The Association of Space Explorers Celebrates Asteroid Day **Virtual**
Tuesday, June 29, 2021, 12:00–1:30 p.m. CDT

The Association of Space Explorers (ASE) invites viewers to join their Asteroid Day live webinar with an expert panel discussing progress, problems, and challenges in defending Earth from dangerous cosmic impacts. Using our space skills toolkit, we the crew of Spaceship Earth can prevent these destructive natural disasters. But we must improve our early warning telescopes, catalog millions of asteroid orbits, and practice international cooperation in using space technology to deflect near-Earth asteroids and comets. Learn about the latest efforts to prevent asteroid impacts, and how you can support efforts to ward off these hazardous objects. You are invited to join a question-and-answer session with the ASE Asteroid Day panel.

  • Lindley Johnson, NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer
  • Tom Jones, veteran NASA astronaut and asteroid scientist
  • Kelly Fast, program manager for NASA’s NEO Observations Program
  • David Kring, Principal Scientist, Lunar and Planetary Institute
  • Elena Adams, DART Mission Systems Engineer

Register in advance for this webinar:

Asteroid Day 2021:  Threat of Impact Update with David Kring **Virtual**
Wednesday, June 30, 2021, 6:30 p.m. CDT

On February 15, 2013, with no warning, an asteroid 20 meters in diameter and weighing more than the Eiffel Tower plunged into the Earth’s atmosphere over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk at speeds in excess of 19 kilometers per second. At such a high speed, the 14,000-ton object exploded at altitude, creating a flash 30 times brighter than the sun and panicking Siberian residents. The air burst damaged 7,200 buildings and injured 1,500 people, mostly due to cuts from broken glass, but many reported ultraviolet burns similar to sun damage and blindness from the flash. It was not the impact that caused the most damage, but the explosion as it suddenly fell apart in the atmosphere, which generated about 25 times more energy than the atomic bomb detonated over Hiroshima. Chelyabinsk served as a grim reminder that asteroids still pose a credible threat to the planet the same way they did for the dinosaurs. A massive asteroid collided with the Earth 65 million years ago, bringing about the demise of megafauna like Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops, along with more than half of the plants and animals living in the late Cretaceous. Scientists agree the asteroid responsible for this mass extinction hit the Yucatán, causing the Chicxulub crater. The threat remains, although this time for us. Dr. David Kring of the Lunar and Planetary Institute, the scientist who discovered and named the Chicxulub for a Mayan village near the center of the crater, will examine methods to mitigate the threat of meteor impacts to humanity.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

The theme for this year’s Asteroid Day will be the 25th launch anniversary of NASA's NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft and the 2021 launch of three new asteroid missions, NASA's Lucy, NEA Scout and DART — the world's first mission to test an asteroid deflection technique. Visit to participate in all of Asteroid Day’s global events.

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