Free events planned for Asteroid Day


UC Riverside Department of Physics and Astronomy plans movie screening, public talk, hands-on meteorite activity and planet viewing on June 30

Asteroid hitting earth

UCR TODAY 16 June 2016 by sean Nealon UC Riverside is hosting several events June 30 to commemorate Asteroid Day.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. ( — The University of California, Riverside’s Department of Physics and Astronomy will be hosting a series of free events June 30 to commemorate Asteroid Day.

Asteroid Day is a global awareness campaign where people from around the world come together to learn about asteroids, the impact hazard they may pose, and what can be done do to protect the planet, families, communities and future generations from future asteroid impacts.

Asteroid Day is held each year on the anniversary of the largest impact in recent history, the 1908 Tunguska event in Siberia. A relatively small asteroid, about 40 meters across or the size of a modest office building, devastated an unpopulated area about the size of a major metropolitan city.

The following events are planned June 30 in the Reading Room (third floor) in the Physics Building at UC Riverside:

5:30 p.m. Movie screening of “51 Degrees North,” which is about a filmmaker involved in research on near-Earth objects. It includes a soundtrack by Brian May, the lead guitarist for the band Queen who is also an astrophysicist.

7:30 p.m. Public talk by Mario De Leo Winkler, a postdoctoral researcher in astrophysics who specializes in public outreach and education of science at UC Riverside, on near Earth objects, asteroid monitoring, the history of impacts on Earth and scientific research geared to avoid a collision. 8:15 p.m. The Geology Museum of the Department of Earth Sciences at UC Riverside has provided several meteorite samples for the public to touch and get acquainted with. 8:45 p.m. Telescope observation looking at Mars and Jupiter and talking about those planets’ recent encounters with asteroids. For more information about the events contact Mario De Leo Winkler at