Plan Asteroid Awareness Events in 2023 with Us

Plan Asteroid Awareness Events in 2023 with Us

Plan Asteroid Awareness Events in 2023 with Us https://asteroidday-uploads.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/14202043/Asteroid-Awareness-Events-in-2023-4.png 401 310 Asteroid Day Asteroid Day https://asteroidday-uploads.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/12/14202043/Asteroid-Awareness-Events-in-2023-4.png

Plan your asteroid awareness events 2023 with us! The coming year promises exciting opportunities for asteroid exploration, research, and observation. Get inspired and be ready to engage and inspire your audience. We wish all the events you are planning to be successful!

Here are the key moments for 2023:

Quadrantid meteor shower

Meteors and a historic asteroid to kick off  2023 – In the first days of the year we will observe the peak of the Quadrantid meteor shower. Just like the Geminids, this intense meteor shower originates from an asteroid. You can organise a super cool event to watch it following these tips

What about upgrading your asteroid watch event to a hunt for the second asteroid discovered in history? Pallas, discovered 220 years ago, can be found using binoculars in Canis Major The Greater Dog, a constellation with easy-to-identify stars, especially Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.

Asteroid 2 Pallas’s trajectory during the best viewing days (in-the-sky.org)

Chelyabinsk meteor (YouTube video)

Chelyabinsk 10 years It seems like just yesterday for those of us who are excited about asteroids, but the meteor that shocked the world will be a decade old in February and we still remember this explosion. It will be a great opportunity to explain to your audience the differences between meteoroids, meteors, and meteorites and how they occur.

Other highlights of 2023 worth exploring and offer plenty of activity options:

Detail of the OSIRIS-REx probe touching the asteroid Bennu´s surface (NASA)

Asteroid missions: past, present and future – We look forward to the arrival of samples of asteroid Bennu collected by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, which is scheduled to arrive back on Earth in September. The following month, we’ll be counting down for the launch of the Lucy mission that will explore the metallic asteroid Psyche. 

We will also hope for the progress of announced missions in the planning phase: Hera, Janus, the UAE mission to explore Main Belt asteroids, and the Chinese mission for planetary defence tests. All these missions are great choices for lectures or conference presentations.

Also, consider organising an exhibition with paper models and images of missions that helped tell the story of asteroid exploration. In 2023 we will celebrate 30 years of the Galileo’s mission and its passage by the asteroid 243 Ida, the 25th anniversary of the Deep Space 1 mission launch, which flew over the asteroid 9969 Braille, the 20th anniversary of the Japanese Hayabusa mission launch to visit asteroid 25143 Itokawa, and the 15th anniversary of the close pass of asteroid 2867 Steins.

Astronomers John Russell Hind (left) and Johann Palisa (right) (Today in Astronomy/Universitätssternwarte Wien)

Discoveries and Discoverers that Inspire Nowadays there are several professional and amateur astronomers like ATLAS, PANSTARRS and others dedicated to discovering asteroids. They lead citizen science campaigns that allow young people and students to discover space rocks by analysing images.

Two centuries ago, almost without technology, many astronomers did the same work and today they inspire new generations. In 2023 it will be the bicentennial of the English astronomer John Russell Hind, discoverer of some of the first asteroids in history. We will also celebrate the 175th anniversary of one of the greatest asteroid hunters, the Austrian Johann Palisa, discoverer of 121 asteroids!

Orbital diagram of Piazzia, the thousandth asteroid that in 2023 will mark 100 years of its discovery (JPL Small-Body Database Lookup)

Currently, more than a million asteroids are known and these numbers tend to pique people’s curiosity. Many may know what was the first asteroid discovered, but does anyone know what was the tenth, hundredth or thousandth?

In 2023 we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the thousandth asteroid discovered, 1000 Piazzia by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth.  This web page of ESA´s Near-Earth Objects Coordination Centre keeps up to date the number of known asteroids, including some statistics. Engage your audience with this data through conversations or short videos.

Sena meteorite (Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales)

Meteorite Falls Many people are fascinated when they hear about space rocks that have fallen to Earth. You can get in contact with collectors and organise exhibitions where the public can see the meteorites. Legends and real stories about meteorites that fell in your region or country can fuel interesting discussions.

2023 will be the year to remember historic meteorite falls, including the 400 years of Stretchleigh in the United Kingdom, 300 years of Ploschkovitz in the Czech Republic, 250 years of Sena in Spain and 200 years of Nobleborough in the USA. Consider taking a trip to a museum where fragments of these meteorites are on display or going to the spot where the fall took place.

Map with the regions on Earth where the star Betelgeuse can be observed being hidden by the asteroid (319) Leona (Steve Preston )

Asteroids hiding stars One of the most interesting phenomena to observe is the passage of an asteroid in front of a star, called an occultation. The few seconds that an asteroid blocks the light of a star are enough for us to discover something. Some of these occultations are recorded worldwide and allow data collection for missions like DART and Lucy. These occultations are not visible to the naked eye and some equipment will be needed to record them. Astronomer Steve Preston’s web page lists the main star occultations by asteroids and you can check which ones will happen in your region that you can observe within the range of your equipment. 

Asteroid (319) Leona occulting Betelgeuse, one of the brightest stars in the sky, is the most awaited occultation of the year. Observers from Florida and many European countries will be able to check in December whether the star’s brightness changes.

Space Resources Week 2023 poster (ESRIC)

Conferences and symposia During the year the public will have a great opportunity to learn about the research and exploration of asteroids and interact with experts. For example the 8th IAA Planetary Defense Conference in Vienna, Austria and the Space Resources Week 2023 in Luxembourg, both in April. The International Conference on Spacecraft Trajectory Optimization and Asteroid Missions and Chemical and Dynamical Constraints on Planet Formation, will be held in the USA in June.

Closing with Vesta And closing the year, the brightest asteroid seen from Earth will be in opposition again. This lesson will help you understand why oppositions are the best opportunity to observe an asteroid. Vesta is the only asteroid that can be observed with the naked eye and in 2023, its opposition will be almost the same week as the Geminids, the famous meteor shower that originates from an asteroid! Don’t forget that tip when organising a spectacular watch party!

Asteroid Vesta’s trajectory in December, period of its opposition (in-the-sky.org)

You will have many occasions to bring your audience closer to the fascinating universe of asteroids. To help you plan, download the Event Organizer Toolkit and proceed to register your event online. Then don’t forget to submit your event report later and we can share your experience on our website and on social media, so others can be inspired to host in the future!