Since 2016, June 30 of each year has been known as International Asteroid Day, a date proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly to remember the anniversary of the impact of one of these objects in Tunguska, Siberia (Russian Federation), which occurred on June 30, 1908, and to raise public awareness about the danger of asteroid impact.
Last Sunday, June 26, 2022, Las Campanas Observatory, LCO, participated in Chile’s commemoration of Asteroid Day, through an activity held at Pueblito de las Vizcachas in Puente Alto, Metropolitan Region, between 10 am and 5 pm. The official count indicates that more than four thousand people participated.
LCO joined forces with the Giant Magellan Telescope, GMTO, the Ecoscience Foundation and the inclusive astronomy initiative Dedoscopio to bring to the Asteroid Day activity in Chile an inclusive stand on asteroids and impact craters, together with a mobile planetarium, the only one of its kind. The latter allowed projecting 360-degree animations on asteroids, showing their location in the Solar System and explaining their composition through examples of the most recognized asteroids.
The activity was organized by the Millennium Institute of Astrophysics MAS, with the collaboration of Las Campanas Observatory, the Millennium Science Initiative, Corporación Pueblito Las Vizcachas, PGE Foundation, Mangata Capacita, ALMA Observatory, StarTres, Chilean Society of Astronomy, EcoScience Foundation, GMT, Dedoscopio, Chilean Foundation of Astronomy, Antukuyen, Millennium Nucleus of Planetary Formation, Cerro Navia Science Corporation, Center for Science Communication of the Andrés Bello University, UdeC Astronomy Department, UDP Astronomy Nucleus, Geology and Neurodiversity, ACHIPEC, UV Institute of Physics and Astronomy, CATA and Explora RM Norte.
There were workshops, contests and stands with interactive activities prepared by each of the participating institutions, in addition to a program of talks on the main stage with interpretation in Chilean Sign Language.