Organization:365 Days Of Astronomy
Description: Space scoop, news for children.
When the Solar System was formed, there were lots of spare pieces left over. These spare pieces are called asteroids and comets.
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Bio: Richard Drumm is President of the Charlottesville Astronomical Society and President of 3D – Drumm Digital Design, a video production company with clients such as Kodak, Xerox and GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals. He was an observer with the UVa Parallax Program at McCormick Observatory in 1981 & 1982. He has found that his greatest passion in life is public outreach astronomy and he pursues it at every opportunity.
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This is the 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast. Today we bring you a new episode in our Space Scoop series. This show is produced in collaboration with Universe Awareness, a program that strives to inspire every child with our wonderful cosmos.
Asteroid Day: Look Out for Rocks Falling From the Sky!
On June 30th, 1908, a fireball was seen streaking across the morning sky in a remote area of Siberia in Russia. Seconds later, an explosion ripped through the air with enough energy to destroy an area of forest almost the size of Tokyo, flattening about 80 million trees.
The earth trembled and many windows were smashed at the Vanavara trading post 65 kilometers away. And the people there felt the heat from the blast.
Luckily, the area in which this disastrous explosion occurred is remote and basically no-one lived there, so there were no reported human casualties.
There were the two Shanyagir brothers who were camped next to the nearby Avarkitty river who got roughed up by the blast.
This event is now known as the ‘Tunguska event’.
It is believed to have been caused by an asteroid estimated to be 40 to 60 meters in diameter, which exploded about 10 kilometers above Earth’s surface.
When this occurred, 109 years ago, humanity wasn’t able to predict such events, but today we have many projects dedicated to finding and monitoring asteroids.
The official announcement of Asteroid Day was on December 3rd, 2014. It was created by the ASE, the Association of Space Explorers and the B612 Foundation.
So starting in 2015, on June 30th — the anniversary of the Tunguska event — people around the world celebrate International Asteroid Day.
In December, 2016 the United Nations joined the movement and proclaimed June 30th as International Asteroid Day.
It’s a day devoted to making people aware of the risk of a future asteroid impact, and it’s an opportunity to discuss how we can minimize this cosmic threat.
If you’d like to get involved, or just learn more about asteroids, you can find a list of Asteroid Day events being hosted around the world at asteroidday.org.
Or, as a citizen scientist, you can join the hunt for asteroids and help map their path through the Solar System with Agent NEO, a Zooniverse.org project.
You can also join the Asteroid Tracker project that Las Cumbres Observatory has organized. Go to asteroidtracker.lco.global for more information.
Hey, Here’s A Cool Fact:
The Tunguska parent body was 40 to 60 meters in diameter. A meteor of 20 meters diameter hit near Chelyabinsk, Russia, in February 2013.
It’s shock wave broke windows all over the city and the parent meteor broke into, well, a gravel pile and rained down on the nearby town of Chebarkul. One piece a meter in diameter broke through the ice of the lake there.
I have a small piece of the meteor here on my desk, with 2 pieces of the glass that the shock wave broke. Thankfully nobody was killed, but over a thousand were hurt by broken glass.
Thank you for listening to the 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast!
End of podcast:
365 Days of Astronomy
The 365 Days of Astronomy Podcast is produced by Astrosphere New Media. Audio post-production by Richard Drumm. Bandwidth donated by libsyn.com and wizzard media. You may reproduce and distribute this audio for non-commercial purposes. Please consider supporting the podcast with a few dollars (or Euros!). Visit us on the web at 365DaysOfAstronomy.org or email us at info@365DaysOfAstronomy.org. This year we will celebrate more discoveries and stories from the universe. Join us and share your story. Until tomorrow! Goodbye!