National Near Miss Day

National Near Miss Day is a holiday observed on March 23rd to commemorate a very scary event that occurred at the end of the 1980s. On March 23, 1989, an asteroid nearly struck Earth but fortunately flew right on by.

This was asteroid 4581 Asclepius, and it was the size of a football field and came within half a million miles of making contact with our planet. That might not seem like a close call to most people, but on a planetary scale, it was indeed a very close call. If the asteroid had made contact with Earth, then things would have been pretty bad.

Facts About 4581 Asclepius

Since we almost got hit by 4581 Asclepius in 1989, we thought we’d give everyone a little bit more information about this asteroid.

  • This object is considered an Apollo-Class Asteroid.
  • It’s about the size of a football field.
  • This asteroid was discovered by Henry E. Holt and Norman G. Thomas.
  • It orbits the sun every 1.03 years.
  • On March 24, 2051, this asteroid will get within 0.0122 A.U. of Earth.
  • It has an inclination of 4.9 degrees.

Observing National Near Miss Day

This is a great day for everyone to take the time to learn more about asteroids and their potential for striking the planet. This can be done by visiting NASA, particularly their Asteroid Watch Program. While you’re learning more about asteroids, use the hashtag #NationalNearMissDay on your social media accounts to spread the word about it.

When is it?
This year (2024)
March 23 Saturday
Next year (2025)
March 23 Sunday
Last year (2023)
March 23 Thursday
Nature & Environment