International Asteroid Day is a day announced at two simultaneous press conferences in London and San Francisco on December 3, 2014, in memory of the Tunguska event that took place in the Eastern Siberian Taiga on June 30, 1908.
As of 2016 the United Nations has now officially recognized it.
An asteroid is a small body in the solar system that is in orbit around the sun.
The Tunguska event was a violent explosion near the Tunguska River, in the heart of the Taiga Forest in Siberia, on the morning of June 30, 1908. The accepted theory is that the explosion was caused by a meteorite (which is part of an asteroid) on Earth. The blast caused enormous damage to nature, but because it happened far from a settlement, no people were injured.
At the center of the explosion, all the trees were found lying in the ground in a circular shape, facing out of the center, within a radius of about 15 to 30 km. All the flora and fauna in that range were destroyed.
Eyewitnesses who watched the event from a distance told of a huge fireball that emerged from the sky accompanied by strong, hot winds that knocked people to the ground. After the explosion, seismic waves were felt that shook the houses similar to an earthquake. The explosion was so powerful that it could be seen from a distance of 800 km.
On February 15, 2013, a meteor exploded, also in Russia. The incident was similar to an explosion in Tunguska, but the meteor exploded in the air and did not hit the earth.
Asteroid Day is designed to raise awareness for asteroids and what can be done to protect the Earth from them.
There are many programs to eradicate the danger from asteroids. In California, USA, for example, there is a non-profit organization called the B612 Foundation, which aims to develop a space mission in which a spacecraft will land on a small asteroid, explore its surface and install a rocket engine that will significantly change its trajectory.
There are other asteroid detection programs that will help monitor each of them and alert them as they approach Earth.
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