Astronomy leads education for Asteroid Day

Posted by David Eicher
on Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I’m delighted to say that Astronomy magazine will be taking on a leading role in promoting the educational component of the Asteroid Day movement.

Asteroid Day is an international effort to raise awareness of the potential threat to Earth from asteroids. The organization was founded by London-based filmmaker Grigorij Richters and astrophysicist and Queen founding guitarist Brian May, and it will raise awareness for research with special events June 30, 2015. This will mark the 107th anniversary of the Tunguska event, an airburst asteroid explosion over Siberia.

The team has assembled an expert panel of science advisors, consisting of Apollo 9 astronaut and planetary defense expert Rusty Schweickart, Sandia National Laboratory’s Mark Boslough, impact expert Peter Brown of the University of Western Ontario, space shuttle astronaut and asteroid expert Tom Jones, risk crisis and planetary defense specialist Debbie Lewis, and planetary scientist and asteroid expert Don Yeomans, just retired from the Jet Propulsion Lab.

Rusty has begun producing a planetary defense blog, and I encourage you to check it out here.

Every few days, Grig is updating us on the status of the effort in a blog.

Encouraged by a number of scientists involved with the effort, I produced a detailed 4,200-word story, “Why the Asteroid Threat Should be Taken Seriously,” which will be posted as a special online feature story on around the end of this month. More on this story later.

I’m also delighted that some of our Astronomy staff members, Production Editor Karri Ferron, Senior Editor Rich Talcott, and Associate Editor Eric Betz, are helping in various ways behind the scenes.

I’m also delighted that we will be partnering with our friends in England, Astronomy Now, led by the fabulous Steve and Laurie Young.

We are all excited about the approach of the first Asteroid Day.

I highly encourage you to check this out and to get involved with this important movement.

You can visit the Asteroid Day website here.

And the educational component page for Asteroid Day here.

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