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Romania celebrates Asteroid Day 2017

on 27 June 2017

30 June is the International Asteroid Day, a UN sanctioned global event. As official partner of the global campaign, the Romanian Space Agency (ROSA) invites the public to participate at the events organised in Romania or online with the purpose to raise awareness about asteroids and how Earth can be protected from potentially dangerous impacts.

Such educational initiatives continue and enhance the global efforts for planetary defence, a field Romania is strongly involved in. Within the European Space Agency (ESA), the Romanian Space Agency has prioritised the participation of Romania in the Optional Programme „Space Situational Awareness” focused on the detection and mitigation of potentially hazardous asteroids, as well as the monitoring of the space weather that can impact our ground- and space-based infrastructure.

"Romania is very interested in planetary defence, especially with regard to Near Earth Objects. Our efforts are concentrated within ESA in space missions such as Proba-3, the AIDA mission and the AIM mission", stated the President of ROSA, Dr. Marius-Ioan Piso, at the launch of Asteroid Day 2017.

Here are some of the events taking place in Romania:

Bucharest, Astronomical Institute of the Romanian Academy, 5 Cutitul de Argint Street

Presentations: 20:30 – 21:30

  • Dan Alin Nedelcu, “Asteroids that intersect Earth’s orbit”: Asteroids that intersect Earth’s orbit are bodies that can be found in the close proximity of the Earth’s orbit. Gravitational perturbations can drive these bodies on orbits with potential impact risk for Earth. The presentation will cover the origin of these asteroids, the transport mechanism to the inner region of the Solar System and how their physical and dynamical properties are studied.
  • Adrian Șonka, „Craters in the Solar System: from Mercury to Pluto”: Each planet has the craters it deserves. An overview of the type of craters found on different bodies in the Solar System.
  • Simon Anghel, „Recent disasters: Tunguska and Chelyabinsk”: If small asteroids burn in the atmosphere, where does the energy go? A short presentation about the atmospheric impacts from Tunguska and Chelyabinsk.
  • Mirel Birlan, Paris Observatory, via Skype: „Questions & Answers session on asteroids”

If the weather is clear, starting 21:30 visitors can attend a session of astrometric observations of asteroids that intersect Earth’s orbit, followed by the presentation of the procedure of data reduction and submitting the results to MPC (Minor Planet Center).

Arad. ESERO Romania will hold a workshop on 29 and 30 June, during the conference organised by the General Assembly of Teachers in Romania. Participating teachers will be presented with class resources dedicated to asteroids (crater formation, asteroid detection), followed by astronomical observations.

Targoviste, History Museum, 181 Domneasca Road The Romanian Society for Meteors and Astronomy (SARM) is organising a series of events starting from 14:00: video projection about asteroids and the events from Tunguska and Chelyabinsk, the official opening of the meteorite exhibition of geologist Razvan Andrei, a seminar about asteroids coming very close to the Earth.

Oradea, Oradea citadel From 17:00, Meridian 0 astronomy club is organising activities for the little ones that will address the subject of asteroids and the formation of our Solar System. For participants over 15 years old there will be a broadcast of the official Asteroid Day movie, followed by a debate on the ways in which the Earth can be protected and on exploitation of the resources offered by asteroids. If the weather is clear, there will also be astronomical observations.

Cotnari, the Public Library in Cotnari From 20:00, PEGAS and UNAWE-Moldavia are organising a meeting of young amateur astronomers. The audience can take part in a presentation about asteroids and the meaning of Asteroid Day and can watch movies about asteroids. After sunset, if meteorological conditions are favourable, there will be astronomical observations on the nearby Catalina Hill.

Brasov. ”George Baritiu” County Library. Starting from 17:30 there will be the projection of the ”51 degrees north” movie, in the attic of Baiulescu House. At the end, there will be a Questions & Answers session with Lucian Curelaru (EuroNear member) and other amateur astronomers from the Astronomy club in Brasov. Places are limited and reservations can be made online here.

In addition to the events in Romania, those interested can participate to online activities. Asteroid Day Live will be a 24-hour live broadcast which will highlight the activities unfolding around the world on 30 June. The host of the programme, Professor Brian Cox, will be joined by guests of honour, among whom is Romanian cosmonaut Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu. He has been actively involved in adopting the UN Declaration which proclaims 30 June as International Asteroid Day.

Those wishing to support the efforts for the detection and monitoring of asteroids, aimed to protect planet Earth, can express their support by signing the 100x Declaration. 60,000 people around the globe have already signed the petition.

More information about Asteroid Day are available on the official website.

Image credit: Asteroid Day