Asteroid Day 2024: What Is It and How to Celebrate It?

~4 min

The 9th annual Asteroid Day will be held on Sunday, June 30. By observing it, you can raise awareness about asteroids and help protect the Earth from a serious threat. Let’s learn more about the history of the event and how you can take part in it.


To expand your knowledge about asteroids, you can also take our asteroids quiz.

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What is Asteroid Day?

Asteroid Day is a global information campaign aimed to educate people about the risks of asteroid impacts. The United Nations officially sanctioned it in 2016. Asteroid Day events are hosted by thousands of independent organizers around the Earth.

When is Asteroid Day?

Asteroid Day is held annually on June 30. This date was chosen to commemorate the most harmful asteroid-related event in Earth’s recent history — the Siberian Tunguska event, which occurred on June 30, 1908.

Who founded Asteroid Day?

The idea was initiated by:

  • Brian May, an astrophysicist, and musician (lead guitarist of the rock band Queen);
  • Grigorij Richters, a filmmaker who wrote and directed 51 Degrees North, the science fiction film about asteroids falling on the Earth;
  • Danica Remy, President and chief executive of B612 Foundation, whose mission is to protect the Earth from asteroid impacts;
  • Russel L. Schweickart, a research scientist, NASA astronaut, and B612’s co-founder.

In 2014, they announced the first Asteroid Day and gained wide support: more than 200 scientists, astronauts, and artists co-signed the Asteroid Day Declaration. In 2016, the United Nations declared it an international observance.

How to participate in Asteroid Day?

Asteroid Day events are held worldwide. You can find the offline and online events for your location using the map on the Asteroid Day website. Better check the website in advance: although it’s recommended to arrange an event on June 30, event organizers can pick another date close to it.

  • If you happen to be in Luxembourg, you can attend the official Asteroid Day celebrations there. On June 28, there will be a Space Lecture where you can learn about the latest updates in asteroid research. On June 29, you can visit the Asteroid Day Festival, where you’ll meet space experts and astronauts and engage in interactive workshops. Entry to both events is free, just register in advance!

  • If you prefer to stay home, you can watch live broadcasts from Luxembourg on the Asteroid Day website. Both the Space Lecture and the Asteroid Day Festival will be broadcast online.

  • One more way to participate is to sign the Asteroid Day declaration, officially named the 100X Declaration. It calls for increasing the asteroid discovery rate by 100,000 (or 100x) per year within the next ten years. The Asteroid Day founders made such a declaration because the current rate of discovered asteroids with a potential to impact the Earth is too low. More than one million asteroids can possibly hit our planet; however, we have detected only about one percent of them. The declaration appeals to scientists mainly, but everyone can take part and sign it.

The largest asteroid impacts

What would happen if an asteroid hit the Earth? Our infographic shows that the destruction scale depends on an asteroid's size. Small asteroids can go unnoticed, while larger ones can wipe out a city or an entire population of the Earth. We'll describe the results of the largest asteroid impacts in the Earth's history.

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Tunguska: flattened 80 mln trees

The Siberian Tunguska event was the massive explosion that took place on June 30, 1908, near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in central Siberia, Russia. Presumably, this explosion was caused by an asteroid around 50-100 meters in diameter. The energy of this explosion is estimated to be a thousand times more powerful than the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan.

Chelyabinsk: exploded over residential areas

On February 15, 2013, an asteroid around 20 meters in diameter entered the Earth’s atmosphere and blew apart in the sky above Chelyabinsk city, Russia. It is estimated that the energy of the explosion was 20-30 times higher than the energy of the Hiroshima atomic bomb. The airwave busted out the windows and knocked down parts of buildings in six nearby cities. About 1,500 people were injured, mostly by the shattered glass; fortunately, no lethal outcomes were reported. The event went viral on social media and provoked a new round of studying a potential asteroid threat.

Chicxulub: took away dinosaurs

How did dinosaurs go extinct? The most popular theory is that 66 million years ago, the Earth collided with a giant asteroid (about 10 kilometers in diameter), which left the Chicxulub impact crater (about 180 kilometers in diameter and 20 kilometers in depth) in Mexico. The shock wave provoked earthquakes, tsunamis, winds exceeding 1000 km/h, and clouds of gasses and dust blocking the Sun. Many dinosaurs died from the explosive force, and the others followed later. Vegetation was severely damaged; from a lack of nutrition, large herbivores died, then carnivores that fed on them.

How to stop an asteroid from hitting the Earth?

Humanity is working on possible ways to do it. Earlier, we told you about NASA’s DART mission. Other solutions are also proposed, such as the slow gravity tractor, the use of solar or nuclear energy, and even spray paint. The thing is, we can’t unfold them five minutes before the collision. They all need several years of development, tests, and further deployment. The sooner we detect a dangerous asteroid, the more chances we will have to save the Earth. That’s why it is vital to observe Asteroid Day, raise awareness about asteroid impact hazards, and encourage research.

Asteroids not only pose threats but also provide opportunities. Check out our infographic to learn about the resources that can be mined in space.

Space Mining Infographic
What resources can be mined in space? How much are asteroids worth? Find the answers in this infographic!
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International Asteroid Day: Bottom line

Asteroid Day, celebrated annually on June 30, is a global event dedicated to raising awareness about hazardous asteroids. Established in 2014, this day commemorates the Tunguska event, the largest asteroid impact in Earth’s recent history. In 2024, official Asteroid Day activities (lectures and workshops) will be held in Luxembourg on June 28 and 29. You can watch live broadcasts of these events on Asteroid Day’s website. Be sure to also check the map of Asteroid Day events — maybe there is something interesting going on in your city!