World Asteroid Day or International Asteroid Day is celebrated all around the world on 30 June. The day aims to make the public aware about asteroid impact hazards and the crisis communication actions that can be taken at the global level in case there is a credible near-Earth object threat.
In December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution A/RES/71/90 that declared 30 June as International Asteroid Day with an aim to globally observe the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, Russian Federation on the same day in 1908, and to raise awareness among the public about the asteroid impact hazard.
The General Assembly took the decision on the basis of a proposal by the Association of Space Explorers that was endorsed by the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
What are Asteroids?
Asteroids refer to small rocky bodies that orbit around the sun. They usually orbit between Mars and Jupiter and that is referred to as the 'Asteroid belt'. Their size ranges from about the size of pebbles to about 600 miles across. There are thousands of asteroids that are believed to exist in our Solar System.
An organisation by the name of B612 works towards protecting the Earth from the impact of asteroids. The Asteroid Day is celebrated to make people understand that asteroids pose a threat to the planet Earth and hence the day should be celebrated.
How is the day celebrated?
A number of agencies in several countries like ESA (European Space Agency), JAXA (Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency), ESA (European Space Agency), Roscosmos (Russia), ISRO (India), and NASA (USA) organise different kinds of events on this day to educate the common public about the impact of asteroids and meteors.
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