Asteroid Day is an annual global awareness movement held on June 29. The aim of Asteroid Day is to teach people around the world about asteroids and what we can do to protect our planet, our families, communities, and future generations. Asteroid Day is held on the anniversary of the June 30, 1908 Siberian Tunguska event, the largest asteroid impact on Earth in recent history. It was co-founded by filmmaker Grigorij Richters and Dr. Brian May, Queen guitarist and astrophysicist. Over 100 astronauts, scientists, technologists and artists, including Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, Peter Gabriel, Jim Lovell, Alexei Leonov, Bill Anders, Kip Thorne, Lord Martin Rees, Chris Hadfield, Rusty Schweickart and Brian Cox co-signed the Asteroid Day Declaration. Asteroid Day was officially launched on December 3, 2014.
In February 2014, Brian May, astrophysicist and guitarist for the rock band Queen, Composed the music for the film 51 Degrees North, which tells the story of a fictional asteroid impact on London and the human condition resulting from such an event. After screening the film at the 2014 Starmus Festival, Richters and May co-founded Asteroid Day in October of 2014 which they officially announced during a press conference with Lord Martin Rees, Rusty Schweickart, Ed Lu, Thomas Jones, Ryan Watt and Bill Nye. The event was live streamed from the Science Museum in London, the California Academy of Sciences, New York and São Paulo. The workgroup of Asteroid Day created a signatory called “100X Declaration”, which appeals to all scientists and technologists who are supporting the idea of saving the earth from asteroids. Many astronauts and cosmonauts participated in activities on the day to raise awareness about the threat posed by asteroid impacts. Institutions such as the Natural History Museum in Vienna, the American Natural History Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, the Science Museum in London, the SETI institute,the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency, among others participated in educational activities, marking the first official Asteroid Day, June 30, 2015. The main three goals are:
1. Employ available technology to detect and track Near-Earth Asteroids that threaten human populations via governments and private and philanthropic organisations.
2. A rapid hundred-fold acceleration of the discovery and tracking of Near-Earth Asteroids to 100,000 per year within the next ten years.
3. Global adoption of Asteroid Day, heightening awareness of the asteroid hazard and our efforts to prevent impacts,