In this week’s Thursday Reflection, pupils at the Pilgrims’ learned about International Asteroid Day.
In December 2016, the United Nations General Assembly declared 30 June International Asteroid Day in order to "observe each year at the international level the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, Russian Federation, on 30 June 1908, and to raise public awareness about the asteroid impact hazard."
International Asteroid Day aims to raise public awareness about the asteroid impact hazard and to inform the public about the crisis communication actions to be taken at the global level in case of a credible near-Earth object threat (cf. https://www.un.org/en/observances/asteroid-day 2022)
Near-Earth objects are asteroids and comets with orbits that bring them to within 120 million miles (195 million kilometers) of the Sun, which means they can circulate through the Earth’s orbital neighbourhood. Most near-Earth objects are asteroids that range in size from about 10 feet (a few meters) to nearly 25 miles (40 kilometers) across.
The orbit of each object is computed by finding the elliptical path through space that best fits all the available observations, which often span many orbits over many years or decades. As more observations are made, the accuracy of an object's orbit improves dramatically, and it becomes possible to predict where an object will be years or even decades into the future – and whether it could come close to Earth (cf. https://www.jpl.nasa.gov/asteroid-watch 2022)
Co-ordinator of SMSC