Astronomers, astronauts and other near-Earth experts from around the world will gather in Luxembourg next week to discuss asteroids. If you tune in to the Asteroid Foundation’s live event on International Asteroid Day (which is June 30), you can hear the latest in space rock research. The four-hour event will feature panel discussions on future missions, technological advancements, how scientists track and discover asteroids, and what resources can be extracted from asteroids. It will be moderated by Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project, the astronomer Phil Plait, the editor-in-chief Stuart Clark of Asteroid Day and Patrick Michel, director of research at CNRS of the Côte d’Azur observatory.
“Asteroid Day reminds the world how important these celestial bodies are. They hold the keys to understanding the formation of the solar system, provide stepping stones that we will use to explore our solar system, and occasionally touch our planet,” Dr Dorin Prunariu, vice president of the Asteroid Foundation, said in a statement. press release† The Asteroid Day event will also feature pre-recorded interviews from NASA’s OSIRIS-REx mission, currently on its far back to Earth after collecting samples from the asteroid Bennu.
Detecting asteroids is a tricky science, and scientists still manage to miss a lot that are potentially dangerous. NASA has detected nearly 16,000 near-Earth objects, which are objects within about 45 million kilometers of our planet’s orbit. As The conversation notes that while extinction-level asteroids are very rare, smaller space rocks like the one in Tunguska, Siberia in 1908 or the 10,000-ton space rock that hit the Russian city of Chelyabinsk can also wreak havoc. And there have been plenty of near misses. Scientists estimation that in 2029, a 1,120-foot asteroid known as Apophis will miss Earth just 19,000 miles.
You can stream Asteroid Day’s program on June 30 at 11 a.m. CET (or 5 a.m. EDT) on Asteroid Day’s websiteTwitch TV or YouTube.
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