Asteroid Day is a worldwide awareness campaign that started in 2015.
The celebration happens each June 30 to mark the anniversary of the 1908 Tunguska event, the largest asteroid impact in recent history.
Western University held its inaugural Asteroid Day this year on June 30, 2016.
The event is sponsored by the Centre for Planetary Science and Exporation (CPSX) as well as the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the Department of Earth Sciences, and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, London Centre (RASC). It was held at the Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory.
The day's agenda included:
Public Talks by four Asteroid Experts:
3:00 PM- Prof. Peter Brown "The Tunguska event and the hazard of asteroid impacts”
4:00 PM- Prof. Paul Wiegert "Fire from the sky: how rocks from space fall to Earth"
5:00 PM- Prof. Mikael Granvik "Killer Asteroids" (Mikael is a visiting asteroid scientist from Helsinki, Finland)
6:00 PM- Prof. Audrey Bouvier "Meteorites: messengers from asteroids and planets"
In addition, several meteorite experts were on site with Western's meteorite display, where they answered questions. It was also an opportunity for the public to bring rocks they think are meteorites for inspection by meteorite experts and learn how to recognize them.
Solar observing also took place on the observing deck where three telescopes were available for safe solar viewing. The 20cm Schmidt-Cassegrain and 90mm Celestron Go-To Maksutov telescopes gave views in white light via mylar filter protection, while the 90mm Coronado scope gave a Hydrogen Alpha view of the Sun's surface.
Approximately 75 people attended during the day.
Event organizers were Dr. Parshati Patel and Dilini Subasinghe. Volunteers were Heather MacIsaac, Will Hyland, Paul Kerans, Bob Duff, Cassandra Marion, Peter Jedicke, Laura Jenkins, Matt Maloney, Bidong Zhang, Jen Newman, and Henry Leparskas.