International Asteroid Day

International Asteroid Day is a global event that’s observed every year on the anniversary of the Tunguska event on June 30, 1908. It’s a holiday on which people are encouraged to not only enjoy all things asteroid-related but also to raise awareness about asteroids and what can be done to protect Earth from future impacts. It’s a good day to look upwards towards the heavens or hang out with friends and watch one of the many asteroid apocalypse films that exist.

The History of International Asteroid Day

This holiday was created by Stephen Hawking, B612 Foundation President Danica Remy, Rusty Schweickart, filmmaker Grigorij Richters, and Queen guitarist Brian May. The declaration for this U.N. observance was also signed by a wide range of celebrities, astronauts, engineers, scientists, technicians, and artists. On December 3, 2014, the day was officially launched, but it would later be moved to June 30th.

Interesting Facts About Asteroids

Want some interesting and educational information about asteroids? If you do, then allow us to give you a rundown of what we know. While we were busy researching this holiday, we came across some interesting facts about asteroids that everyone should know. Let’s take a look at them and learn more about these impressive chunks of rock and metal.

Although there are many different types of asteroids, the majority of them can be broken down into carbonaceous asteroids, silicaceous asteroids, and metallic asteroids.

  • Asteroids can also have smaller particles orbiting them, like little moons.
  • The NASA spacecraft NEAR Shoemaker landed on the surface of the 21-mile-long asteroid Eros—even though it wasn’t designed for that—in 2000.
  • Asteroids are too small to sustain an atmosphere.
  • It’s believed that an asteroid strike killed off the dinosaurs.
  • Asteroids are classified by their chemical composition and how much light they reflect.
  • Asteroids can range in size from the size of a pebble to hundreds of miles in diameter.
  • German astronomer Johann E. Bode discovered the first asteroid in 1772. It was named Ceres.
  • The asteroid belt has anywhere from 1.1 to 1.9 million asteroids larger than a half-mile.

Movies That Feature Asteroids

We understand that it can be difficult to find movies about asteroids when all you want to do is celebrate International Asteroid Day, so we decided to dig some up for you. Below are some of the asteroid movies that we’ve uncovered. However, we’re sure that the following list of movies is only a small sample of what’s available, so you might want to continue to look for yourself.

  • The Blob (1958)
  • Meteor (1979)
  • Night of the Comet (1984)
  • The Blob (1988)
  • Deep Impact (1998)
  • Armageddon (1998)
  • Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)

Observing International Asteroid Day

Observing this day is fun and easy. Take the time to learn more about asteroids, and maybe watch one of the asteroid-hits-Earth movies that exist out there. While you’re enjoying the festivities, be sure to use the hashtag #InternationalAsteroidDay to spread the word about this holiday.

When is it?
This year (2024)
June 30 Sunday
Next year (2025)
June 30 Monday
Last year (2023)
June 30 Friday
Nature & Environment, Science, United Nations