COSMOS ASTEROID WORKSHOP

Siberia, 1908 - A huge explosion comes out of nowhere that ripped through the air above a remote forest in Siberia, near the Podkamennaya Tunguska river in Yeniseysk Governorate (now Krasnoyarsk Krai), Russia. This was the most significant impact event in Earth’s history popularly known as Tunguska event

The explosion over the sparsely populated Eastern Siberian Taiga flattened 2,000 square kilometers (770 square miles) of the forest, yet caused no known human casualties. The fireball is believed to have been 50-100m wide which trembled the earth. Windows smashed in the nearest town over 35 miles (60km) away. Residents there even felt the heat from the blast, and some were blown off their feet.

Over 100 years after the most powerful explosion in documented history, researchers are still trying to figure out exactly what happened and what exactly took place on that fateful day. Many are convinced that it was an asteroid or a comet that was responsible for the blast. But very few traces of this large extraterrestrial object have ever been found, opening the way for more outlandish explanations for the explosion.

So, to spread awareness of the dangers posed by asteroid impacts on Earth and to promote research into identifying and tracking these objects and talk about protecting our planet from them, June 30 is observed as the International Asteroid Day 

Each year, Asteroid Day is broadcast live across the globe with a packed programme that brings together astronauts, rock stars, and scientists. Highlighting our potentially vulnerable place in space, the live event also describes the many ingenious and yet not-far-from sci-fi potential solutions to these dangerous roaming rocks.

Each year hundreds of regional events also take place, with many countries so far having hosted concerts, community events, lectures and much more. We at COSMOS Astronomy Education & Research Organization organizing Workshop for children to educate them about asteroids, their types, size of asteroids and how that relates to the potential danger of an asteroid colliding with the Earth. Students are briefly introduced to the destruction that would ensue should a large asteroid hit, as it did 100 years ago.

After the Workshop, students should be able to:
 
  • Explain what asteroids are and compare them to other objects in the solar system.
  • State how big an asteroid must be to cause mass destruction on Earth.
  • Explain why engineers design technological tools to predict the movement of asteroids.

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