Since these days, the asteroids are in the centre of attraction (as we are hearing plenty of news regarding their orbits, paths and harms etc) so I would today like to address about the asteroids as well the Asteroid Day too.
What are asteroids?
As you can see above, an asteroid is a small rocky object that orbits the Sun as well as is relatively smaller than a planet. Most of the asteroids are found in a region between Mars and Jupiter, which is technically known as the asteroid belt. However, they can also orbit around in other regions in the solar system, such as – some asteroids orbit the Sun in a path that takes them near Earth.
Recently, it’s been analysed that at the end of the Cretaceous period (that occured 66 million years ago) , a giant asteroid created an impact at Chicxulub off the coast of Mexico,leading to darkened skies and global cooling, killing off all the dinosaurs from the earth. Scientists believe that volcanoes were not the root cause of the extinction of dinosaurs, but a giant asteroid was.
Earlier, NASA had announced that a giant asteroid is expected to pass Earth (at a safe distance) on June 6. A Near-Earth Object (NEO), the asteroid is called 163348 (2002 NN4) and is termed as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA) too. Last week, NASA analysed that a giant asteroid known as 441987 (2010 NY65) will pass Earth on June 24.
Now let us understand what is the motive behind keeping a specific day for Asteroid Day.
Jne 30th has been selected as International Asteroid Day and 2020 marks the 6th anniversary of World Asteroid day.
The day is celebrated to spread awareness about the asteroid, and how it will impact planet Earth if by chance it hits the earth.
The United Nations General Assembly in December 2016 adopted a resolution A/RES/71/90 and designated 30 June as International Asteroid Day. June 30th was specifically selected for the same as it marks the anniversary of the Tunguska event.
On June 30, 1908, a ferocious impact was witnessed near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in Siberia, that destroyed a huge amount of forest trees. According to NASA, it was estimated that the asteroid entered the atmosphere of the Earth at a speed of about 33,500 miles/hour. The space rock of 220 heated the air surrounding it to 44,500 degrees Fahrenheit. The blast flattened an estimated 80 million trees over an area of 830 square miles (2,150 square km) of the forest.
Now in order to discuss about the harm that an asteroid can cause to earth if it crashed the earth, this day has been intentionally selected by the scientists, in order to take some preventive methods, in the near future, thus.