International Asteroid Day
Meteors, solar flares, asteroids, moving stars, nearby supernovas and space shuttle debris. These are just a few of the millions of things in space that threaten Earth. One of the most disastrous ones was an asteroid or comet about 10-15 kilometres in diameter which created the Chicxulub crater about 66 million years ago. This was the impact that allegedly lead to the extinction of dinosaurs, wiping them out from the surface of the earth.
A similar asteroid flattened 2,000 sq kms of land on JULY 30th 1908 in the Stony Tunguska River in Yeniseysk Governorate (now Krasnoyarsk Krai), Russia. It is now known as the Tunguska Event, that caused by the air burst of a meteoroid, luckily with no human casualties.
Asteroid Day is celebrated every year on JULY 30th, to raise awareness about asteroids, and how we can save the Earth from such catastrophic events.
Here are some amazing facts about asteroids we bet you didn’t know!
- The Invisible Meteoroid- The meteoroid of the Tunguska event never actually touched the surface of the earth. It had disintegrated completely at an altitude of 5-10 kms and what caused the destruction was the air burst from the meteor.
- Our Atmosphere Supreme – Everyday 100 tons of materials from asteroids, comets, etc. fall towards the Earth but are destroyed by friction thanks to our atmosphere. Had we not had an atmosphere like many of the planets in our solar system, our species along with all others, would have been wiped off millions of years ago.
- Gulliver of Asteroids – Once every 2,000 years, a football field sized body crashes into the Earth – the last such body allegedly wiped out the dinosaurs. Geophysicists and scientists around the world are constantly at work, trying to figure out when the next asteroid will approach Earth and the means to avoid its destruction.
- The Snowflake Asteroids – There are about half a million asteroids in the Asteroid Belt and some of them are so big that they have their own gravitational pull, leading to their own moons orbiting around them. Each of these are unique in their size, formation and the type of materials they are composed off. We wonder what stories they might have to tell us.
- The Dwarf Planet – The first asteroid discovered was named Ceres, discovered by 1801 Giuseppe Piazzi. It is the largest asteroid in the Solar System, almost the size of a planet.
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Ankita Dutta is a STORYWEAVER at BYJU’S. Avid reader and writer by day, a classical singer by night, Harry Potter nerd, a film aficionado, and the classroom joker in her yesteryear. Ankita believes that words can influence to a point where they change personalities and ideologies. Wish to contact her about intriguing debates, writing trends and stories? Drop in a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org