Asteroid Day is a day to raise public awareness of asteroids and the risks posed thereby. It is held each year on June 30, in commemoration of the Tunguska event, an explosive disintegration of an asteroid over Siberia on June 30, 1908.
Asteroid Day events consist primarily of popular scientists speaking publically about asteroids and why they are bad. Signatories of the Asteroid Day Declaration include Dr. Brian May, Lord Martin Rees, Bill Nye, Richard Dawkins, Alan Eustace, Chris Hadfield, Jim Lovell, Sir Harry Kroto, Carolyn Shoemaker, Dr. Nathan Myhrvold, Dr. Kip Thorne, Rusty Schweickart, Dr. Ed Lu, and Dr. Tom Jones, among many other luminaries.
The 100X Declaration:
We, the undersigned, call for the following action:
- Employ available technology to detect and track Near-Earth Asteroids that threaten human populations via governments and private and philanthropic organisations.
- A rapid hundred-fold acceleration of the discovery and tracking of Near-Earth Asteroids to 100,000 per year within the next ten years.
- Global adoption of Asteroid Day, heightening awareness of the asteroid hazard and our efforts to prevent impacts, on June 30.
Asteroid day is an officially declared UN "international day" -- theoretically putting it on the same footing as Holocaust Remembrance Day and International Woman's Day. It has not gained so much notoriety as these days, but is arguably just as important. A large asteroid would pose just as much a threat to us as it did to the dinosaurs, and we are not doing much more than the dinosaurs did to address the threat. The Asteroid Day Declaration is a reminder that developing our space program is a necessary component of an asteroid early warning system, and that anything we might possbaly do against a major asteroid requires very early warning indeed.