Rees launches Asteroid Day

04 December 2014
asteroid day
Yesterday, Martin Rees and other 100 other experts announced Asteroid Day. Asteroid day is an awareness movement dedicated to learning about asteroids and how to protect our planet. It will take place on the anniversary of the 1908 Siberian Tunguska event, starting on the 30th June 2015.

At the launch event, Martin Rees read the 100X Asteroid Declaration:

As scientists and citizens, we strive to solve humanity’s greatest challenges to safeguard our families and quality of life on Earth in the future.

Asteroids impact Earth: such events, without intervention, will cause great harm to our societies, communities and families around the globe. Unlike other natural disasters, we know how to prevent asteroid impacts.

There are a million asteroids in our solar system that have the potential to strike Earth and destroy a city, yet we have discovered less than 10,000 — just one percent — of them. We have the technology to change that situation.

Therefore, 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 (100x) 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, 2015.

I declare that I share the concerns of this esteemed community of astronauts, scientists, business leaders, artists and concerned citizens to raise awareness about protecting and preserving life on our planet by preventing future asteroid impacts.

Over 100 leaders from these areas have signed the declaration, including: Astronomer Royal Ed Lu, astrophysicist Kip Thorne, astronomer Carolyn Shoemaker, Nobel laureate Harold Kroto, Google’s Peter Norvig, science guy Bill Nye, science presenter Brian Cox, Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May, and over 38 astronauts and cosmonauts.

This is a great group to have advocating for reducing the risk of catastrophe!

Read more at the Asteroid Day website.

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