The international organization of this celebration, led by astrophysicist and Queen’s guitarist, Brian May, highlighted MAS’ work during the last two years.
In February 2014, astrophysicist Brian May met with Grigorij Richters, “51 Degrees North” director, to work on the music of his film. This new movie followed the story of Damon Miller, also a movie director, during an asteroids impact in London. This was the origin of what in 2015 saw the light: The International Asteroid Day, a worldwide movement that is celebrated every June 30th to commemorate the anniversary of the biggest asteroid impact in history –in Tunguska, Russia (1908)– and to raise awareness in the community about the potential danger of a new and significant impact and how we can be prepare for it.
Since 2015, this event has celebrated two editions already and last December, United Nations officially declared June 30th as the day the world needs to be united to carry out an international event that can emphasize the potential danger that asteroids represent for us on Earth and the importance of doing research about this matter.
On both previous events, Chile was present. More than ten national institutions carried out activities in different cities of our country, all of them coordinated by the Millennium Institute of Astrophysics MAS, along with the Institute of Astrophysics of Universidad Católica. The International organization highlighted all these events and how many people these were able to reach, and therefore named Chile a case of success in 2016.
That is why in 2017, after Grigorij Richters –co founder of this movement– rated the work done in previous years as “amazing”, MAS was named Local Coordinator of the events in Chile. In this sense, the institute is responsible for bringing all the participant institutions together –including national universities, observatories, museums and planetariums– to combine their different initiatives.
While we are waiting June 30th to come, we are working on the design of a website fully dedicated to the national events (www.asteroidday.org/chile) and a twitter account to keep you posted about the activities and everything related to this celebration.
Image credit: ESO/L. Calçada/Nick Risinger (skysurvey.org)