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Mission experts from NASA and European and Japanese space agencies take part in Asteroid Day Alicante 2019

Tomorrow, Thursday 27 June at 6.30 p.m., the University of Alicante celebrates International Asteroid Day at the Alicante City University Venue



Alicante. Wednesday 26 June 2019

The University of Alicante joins the celebrations to mark International Asteroid Day with a comprehensive programme of lectures and debates that bring together mission experts from NASA and European and Japanese space agencies.

Organised by the UA research group in astronomy and astrophysics, this year’s event is made up of two parts. In the first, from 6.30 to 8 p.m., UA researcher Adriano Campo, involved in the European Space Agency’s (ESA) Hera mission, will provide an updated overview of the real threat of asteroid impacts on Earth, including the consequences of a crash into the surface or an explosion in the upper atmosphere. Moreover, secretary of the National Association of Professional Specialists in Civil Defence and Emergencies (ANEPPCE) Juan Antonio Iborra will illustrate a variety of threats from space and possible preventive measures.

In the second part, from 8 to 9.30 p.m., Javier Licandro, coordinator of the research area at the Astrophysics Institute of the Canaries, will present NASA's OSIRIS-REx space mission, which has been on a visit to the primitive asteroid Bennu since December. Licandro will provide preliminary results obtained before sample collection for study back on Earth. He will also show some data from the Hayabusa2 mission (Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, JAXA) to the asteroid Ryugu.

Finally, ESA's Hera mission scientist Michael Küppers will present the AIDA space mission, aimed at assessing, for the first time, the technological capability for asteroid deflection.

Asteroid Day 2019 in Alicante is a public popular science event, open to anyone with an interest in the topic. The whole event will be in Spanish.

Asteroid Day

On 30 June 1908 a 40-metre asteroid smashed into Tunguska, Siberia and destroyed a forest area the size of the island of Gran Canaria. As it was the largest impact on Earth in recent history, the United Nations proclaimed 30 June as Asteroid Day to make citizens aware of the potential risk of asteroid impacts on Earth and learn more about these small bodies, the study of which is fundamental in order to understand the origin and evolution of the solar system.

Full programme


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