Asteroids are rocky celestial bodies that, like planets, rotate around the Sun. The majority of asteroids in our solar system are found in the main asteroid belt, which is positioned between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. These asteroids are leftovers of the solar system's creation roughly 4.6 billion years ago. While most of them do not represent a threat to Earth, they can create a disaster if they collide with it. On June 30, International Asteroid Day is held to raise awareness about the dangers of asteroid impacts.
Here's what you need to know about all the fact that explains how asteroids were formed and why they might threaten the earth.
The United Nations established June 30 as International Asteroid Day to commemorate the anniversary of the Tunguska asteroid's impact over Siberia. The catastrophic incident occurred on June 30, 1908, near Siberia, and is recognized as the greatest asteroid impact in recorded history.
According to NASA, "the sole entrance of a big meteoroid into Earth's atmosphere with eyewitness testimonies in contemporary history was the Tunguska event in 1908." In December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution designating June 30 as International Asteroid Day.
According to NASA, asteroids are irregular rocky things that rotate around the sun but are far smaller than planets. They are airless celestial bodies that remained after the creation of our solar system.
Our solar system is densely packed with these rocky asteroids, the majority of which are located in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter's orbits. Many asteroids pass safely by our planet, but others potentially approach the Earth's orbit.
These are known as Near-Earth Objects (NEO) and can cause catastrophic damage to the planet. NASA regularly watches these NEOs, and according to its Center for NEO Studies, over 16,000 Near-Earth asteroids have been found.
The purpose of International Asteroid Day is to educate people about the hazards of an asteroid impact and to familiarise them with the crisis communication measures that must be performed in such an occurrence. As a result, several organizations host events to teach people about asteroids and the dangers they represent.
You may see NASA's unique program commemorating International Asteroid Day last year, where the space agency and specialists presented knowledge about asteroids and addressed questions about interstellar bodies.