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International Asteroid Day: Ask an Asteroid (scientist)

Jun 30 2024 - 11:00am to 2:00pm
Throughout the Museum

Experience Asteroid Day at the Museum. From 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 30, learn about asteroids, their impacts on Earth, and NASA’s mission to the asteroid belt.

Asteroid Day will feature hands-on activities and demos for the family starting at 11 a.m. Learn how to tell the difference between meteorites and Earth rocks from UNM’s Institute of Meteoritics. A NASA Solar System Ambassador will have information about comets and asteroids. In the atrium, we will host several New Mexico space scientists who have been honored by having asteroids named after them, including two who work at the Museum! These local scientists will be on hand to answer questions and have one-on-one discussions about their research.

In the ViewSpace Theater, the museum will be replaying a special broadcast of the Asteroid Day Festival which was recorded last year. Watch panel discussions from astronomy experts about asteroids, space missions, finance in space, data sonification and more. The video will run continuously on June 30 during the event. Find out more at Solar observing will be offered if the sky is clear. Safely examine any activity on the sun through special telescopes in front of the museum entrance. 

Additionally, planetary geologist and educator Jayne Aubele will lead a brief guided tour of the exhibit that shows the dramatic asteroid impact believed to have led to the end of the dinosaurs, and discuss exactly why scientists think a rock from the sky changed the course of Earth’s evolutionary development. Participants should assemble at the bleachers next to the Bisti Beast in the museum atrium at 11:45 a.m. 

At 1 p.m., our Planetarium team will be showing Incoming!, which explores the past, present, and future of our Solar System and the landmark discoveries scientists have made sending spacecraft to visit tiny worlds. Admission to this shows is regular planetarium admission. 

About Asteroid Day: Asteroid Day is held on June 30 every year, which is the anniversary of the largest impact from a space object to happen in human history, the “Tunguska event.” This international campaign educates people worldwide about asteroids, the impact hazard they may pose, and what we can do to protect our planet, families, communities, and future generations. Find out more from the event’s international site:

Included with Museum Admission
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