Welcome to Asteroid Day at the Imperial College London

A global movement that helps protect Earth from asteroids.

Countdown until the next Asteroid Day, June 30 2017:

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– Asteroid Day Program at Imperial College –

10:00 – Introductory Welcome
10:15 – Taking The Hit

Although we are constantly monitoring the sky for near-Earth objects, there is always the chance that we will not be able to detect an object on a collision course until it is too late. Therefore effective civil protection strategies are required in advance, to better respond to asteroid impacts, which will ensure that we are better prepared to protect lives as well as livelihoods.

10:50 – Asteroid Post Discovery Information For Hazard Mitigation

The asteroid impact hazard sets itself apart from other natural disasters by two aspects: It is well-predictable in terms of when and where an impact occurs, and it is preventable. This talk presents insights into which information is available after discovery of an asteroid and how this information can help to minimize and even mitigate the threat.

11:25 – AIDA – The First Asteroid Impact Mitigation Test Mission?

AIDA is a joint NASA/ESA project to undertake the first test of a kinetic impactor to deflect an asteroid (the 160 metre-sized moon of the Near-Earth Asteroid (65803) Didymos) in 2022. I will describe the spacecraft and mission status, and explain the motivation for the mission in the context of planetary defence and the scientific exploration of the Solar System.

12:00 – “We’re All Going To Die!”

It came from space! It was 10km wide! It wiped out nearly all life on Earth!
That was 65 million years ago, and if it happens again, then most definitely we’re all going to die! Actually it isn’t a question of “If” but “When”!  So come along and find out what we can do about it…

13:00 – Lunchbreak
14:00 – Dr Brian May’s Astro Stereo Photography- Illustrated with Full Screen 3-D Projection

Denis Pellerin’s talk is an annotated stereoscopic picture gallery of astronomical 3-D, using a new full screen 3-D projection system.   This collection shows many astronomical images from the earliest lunar stereos by Warren de la Rue, to the most recent data from NASA and ESA missions, including Rosetta’s comet and the New Horizons flyby of Pluto.

14:35 – Amateurs and NEO Follow Up

Providing follow-up measurements of newly discovered near-Earth asteroids is an area where amateurs have made useful contributions for more than two decades. But the requirements are changing as the professional surveys tool-up with better equipment, consequently the objects being discovered now are tending to be physically smaller and fainter than before. What does this mean for the amateur today?

15:10 – Spaceguard Centre – National Near-Earth Object Information Centre

In his presentation Tate will describe the origins of UK interest in the NEO hazard, the political battle to generate official interest and the subsequent establishment of Spaceguard UK and the Spaceguard Centre, and touching on the UK Government Task Force on Potentially Hazardous Near Earth Objects.

15:45 – How To Survive an Asteroid Impact Event

The world as we know it has ended and your community of survivors must start again. Key knowledge is required to not only survive in the immediate aftermath, but also to avert a return to the Dark Ages. Living in the modern world, we have become disconnected from the basic processes that support our lives, as well as the fundamentals of science that enable us to relearn.

16:20 – Plenary Session
17:00 – Closing Remarks

– Speakers –

Helen Sharman


Helen Sharman is a scientist and astronaut, who became the first Briton in space in 1991.
Helen is the Operations Manager for Chemistry at Imperial College London. Helen has undertaken R&D and management roles in industry and Higher Education and she regularly presents science to a wide range of audiences.
Photo credit: Thomas Angus, Imperial College


Debbie Lewis


Debbie Lewis received her MSc in Risk, Crisis and Disaster Management from the University of Leicester in 2011.  Her dissertation was entitled, “Near-Earth Object:Imminent Catastrophe or Manageable Risk?” Debbie is an Asteroid Day Expert Panel, Science Advisor and disaster management advisor on civil protection arrangements.  She has also designed and delivered disaster management exercises for the International Academy of Astronautics Planetary Defence Conferences
Photo credit: Max Alexander


Clemens Rumpf


Clemens Rumpf recently concluded his PhD studies on the subject of asteroid impact risk assessment. He is the UK delegate to the UN endorsed SMPAG group addressing the asteroid hazard on the international level. Previously, he studied at TU Braunschweig and Purdue University and worked for ESA, DLR and Airbus. Other interests include 3D printing and cubesats.




Simon Green


Simon Green is head of the Planetary and Space Science Research Group at the Open University and has thirty-five years of Near-Earth Asteroid research experience, initially with remote observations and more recently in planning space missions. He is a member of the European Space Agency’s Asteroid Impact Mission (AIM) Investigation Team. Asteroid 9831 is named Simongreen in his honour.




Jerry Stone


Jerry Stone is a Freelance Space Presenter and a genuine space expert.  He gives presentations on space topics across the UK and abroad. He also presents space workshops for schools, is often interviewed on radio and TV and is the author of “One Small Step”, a book about the Moon landings.




Denis Pellerin


Denis Pellerin is a self-taught photo-historian with a passion for stereo photography. Denis has been researching the history of the medium for over 30 years and has written articles and books on the subject, both in French and English. Denis had the good fortune to work with Dr. Brian May before being hired by the latter as the curator of his photographic collection.
Peter Birtwhistle


Peter Birtwhistle established Great Shefford Observatory in 2002, dedicated to the study of near-Earth asteroids. Even though sited in England, the observatory has consistently been one of the most prolific amateur observatories in the world. Tens of thousands of follow-up observations of newly discovered NEOs have been contributed, including some of the most challenging and closest approaching objects



Jonathan T. Tate, FRAS


After 26 years as an Army Officer Jonathan Tate established Spaceguard UK in 1997, and is now the Director of the Spaceguard Centre and the National Near Earth Objects Information Centre.
In 2013 Tate was awarded the Europlanet Prize for Public Engagement in Planetary Science.
In recognition of his work Asteroid 15116, discovered by the Spacewatch programme, has been named “Jaytate”.
Photo credit: Max Alexander
Lewis Dartnell


Prof. Lewis Dartnell is an astrobiology researcher at the University of Westminster, studying how microbial life, might persist on the surface of Mars. He writes science articles in newspapers and magazines, and has appeared in TV shows such as BBC Horizon, Wonders of the Universe, and documentaries on National Geographic, Discovery and History channels. His third book ‘The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch’ is a Sunday Times Book of the Year.

 -About Asteroid Day –

Welcome to Asteroid Day 2017 which is held each year on the anniversary of the largest asteroid impact of Earth in recent history, the Tunguska event of 1908, which destroyed about 1000 square kilometers in Siberia.
Asteroid Day was co-founded in 2014 by filmmaker Grig Richters, Silicon Valley business leader Danica Remy, Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart, and Dr. Brian May, astrophysicist and lead guitarist of QUEEN. Asteroid Day is a rising global movement to protect our planet, families, communities and future generations from dangerous asteroids, such as the most recently witnessed asteroid impact event which occurred in Chelyabinsk injuring about 1500 individuals on February 15 2013.
On December 7, 2016, the United Nations General Assembly officially recognised Asteroid Day as an annual event, declaring,“30 June International Asteroid Day to observe each year at the international level, the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, Russia, on 30 June 1908 and to raise public awareness about the asteroid impact hazard.”

– 100X Declaration –

The 100x Declaration, has been signed by leaders in science, technology, government, entertainment, and citizens around the world.
The 100x Declaration has targeted three specific goals:
  • A rapid 100-fold acceleration of the discovery and tracking of Near-Earth Asteroids to 100,000 per year within the next ten years,
  • Employ available technology to detect and track Near-Earth Asteroids that threaten human populations via governments and private and philanthropic organisations,
  • Global adoption of Asteroid Day, heightening awareness of the asteroid hazard and our efforts to prevent impacts, on June 30. This final goal was accomplished with the December 2016 UN Declaration.
If you would like to read and add your signature to the 100x Declaration you can do so via this link to the Asteroid Day website:
Debbie Lewis

Asteroid Day Regional Coordinator UK

Debbie is an Asteroid Day Science Advisor, Deputy Chair of the ADXP and disaster management advisor on civil protection arrangements required in response to asteroid impact events.


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