Asteroid Day to include live webcast from Luxembourg + Hayabusa2 arrives at asteroid Ryugu

Asteroid Day is this Saturday, June 30th. See the earlier posting here about this global campaign to raise awareness of the threat of asteroid impacts. Check if one of the many events planned for Asteroid day around the world is near where you live. See also updates at Asteroid Day ☄ (@AsteroidDay) | Twitter.

Here are some additional items relevant to the campaign:

** There will be a 48 hour live webcast sponsored by the European Space Agency: Asteroid Day live from Luxembourg – ESA

The world’s first 48-hour webcast about asteroids and their place in space will begin at 12:00 CEST, on Friday, 29 June 2018. Kicking off this exciting event, physicist, science advocate and former rock star Brian Cox will host the first 6-hour segment live from Luxembourg.

Brian will be joined by asteroid scientists, astronauts, rock stars and experts from around the world all in the name of Asteroid Day – the annual UN-endorsed global campaign to raise awareness about asteroids, and the risks and opportunities that they bring.

Asteroid Day takes place each year on 30 June, commemorating the 1908 Tunguska airburst over Siberia, the biggest impact event in recorded history. Since its inception, ESA has long supported the Asteroid Day initiative and plays a leading role in the global hunt for risky near-Earth objects that might one day cross our path.

** This week’s episode of the Planetary Society‘s radio program was devoted to asteroids: It’s Asteroid Week with NASA’s Planetary Defense Officer | The Planetary Society

** The Society has also opened a Kickstarter campaign called Kick Asteroid! 

The Planetary Society is excited to partner with space artist and designer, Thomas Romer, and backers around the world to create Kick Asteroid—a colorful graphic poster that will illustrate the effect of past catastrophic impacts, and methods to deflect future asteroid threats. Compelling and scientifically accurate art will be created for posters and other “merch” that backers can use in their everyday lives to spread the word about planetary defense. 

Asteroid and comet impacts, while not common, are very real threats. By backing this project, you can help spread the word about asteroid defense. You will be doing your part to protect the people of Earth from a devastating impact.

** Appropriately enough, the Japanese space agency’s Hayabusa2 probe arrived this week at the asteroid Ryugu after a three and a half year voyage from earth: Hayabusa2 Rendezvous with Ryugu – JAXA

On June 27, 2018, JAXA operated Hayabusa2 chemical propulsion thrusters for the spacecraft’s orbit control.*

The confirmation of the Hayabusa2 rendezvous made at 9:35 a.m. (Japan Standard Time, JST) is based on the following data analyses;

  • ・The thruster operation of Hayabusa2 occurred nominally
  • ・The distance between Hayabusa2 and Ryugu is approximately 20 kilometers
  • ・Hayabusa2 is able to maintain a constant distance to asteroid Ryugu
  • ・The status of Hayabusa2 is normal

The probe will spend a year and half studying the diamond shaped asteroid and four small landers will be deployed onto the surface. In addition, the probe will grab a sample of the surface and return it to earth in December 2020.

A comparison of Ryugu to other asteroids visited by space probes: Hayabusa2 arrived at Ryugu, so I can make comparisons of asteroid scales! | The Planetary Society.