Of late there have been a number of reports about asteroids whizzing past Earth, with some said to be the size of a football field. Just at the start of June this year (2020), there were reports of five asteroids passing by Earth, one after the other, followed by a larger one more recently. The fly-by, by the heavenly bodies, seems apt as International Asteroid Day is celebrated on the last day of this month, June 30, every year. Also Read - Any More Surprises Left For 2020? Neptune-Like Planet Discovered Using Data From NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite
An asteroid is a minor planet that did not evolve fully when the Solar System was born. There are millions of asteroids in existence that orbit the Sun, though most are in the main asteroid belt, a region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. They are not of the same size and shape because they are formed in different locations at different distances from the sun. They are made up of different kinds of rocks, but some contain clay or metal, such as nickel and iron, and they do pose a threat to planets. Also Read - Giant Asteroid Shoots Past Earth, NASA Measures Its Size to be THREE Times Bigger Than London's Big Ben
History of International Asteroid Day:
The United Nations General Assembly adopted resolution A/RES/71/90 on December 2016 and declared June 30 as International Asteroid Day. It is an annual global event that is held on the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, Russian Federation that took place on June 30, 1908. It was the most harmful known asteroid-related event on Earth as it destroyed local plants and animals.
Significance of International Asteroid Day:
The day is marked to raise public awareness about the devastating impact an asteroid has when it crashes to Earth. It also highlights the importance of identifying the objects that pose a threat to the planet, and to educate the people on what to do if such a situation arises.