Eight Year Anniversary of the Chelyabinsk Asteroid Blast and it’s Time to Take a Long View By: Danica Remy

Katie Young

February 15, 2021

Still Image from Chelyabinsk Asteroid

Eight years ago today, an asteroid exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia. The asteroid injured over 1,500 people and damaged  more than 7,000 buildings across six cities. Through these kinds of  “close call” events, and the events of the last year in the global COVID pandemic, we are reminded of the importance of taking a long view on existential risks. While fireballs exploding above the atmosphere without any damage are much more common than Earth-impacting asteroids, they are also reminders that celestial objects do hit our home planet frequently. 

As a global community, what can we do to collectively change the course of the future by preventing asteroid impacts on Earth?

For one thing we can continue to talk about asteroids and the need to think into the future about their potential risks.

Our Asteroid Education team has been leading public conversations on asteroids long before Chelyabinsk. And every year we have been helping Asteroid Day grow to a presence in 192+ countries around the world to spread the word about asteroids and the risks and opportunities they present. You can learn more and get involved by hosting an event and accessing the educational tools Asteroid Day provides.

In addition, you can learn more about the work happening at B612’s Asteroid Institute and share what you learn! Our network of scientists and researchers are building tools to allow the scientific community to predict asteroid orbits from observed positions in the sky without having to input data manually and  configure a myriad of settings through our Asteroid Decision Analysis and Mapping (ADAM) platform. In other words, the capability we are building means  observation data can be put into ADAM, generate orbits, do orbit propagation, and calculate impact probability all with one single tool. 

Together, we can continue to build momentum and strive to engage the world around asteroid education and research efforts. Today, let’s take a moment to remember just how important early detection is and also celebrate the advancements the planetary defense community is making.

About Danica Remy:

Danica serves as President of the B612 Foundation, which leads the private sector efforts in research, analysis and systems design to protect Earth from asteroids.  Danica also co-founded the international program, Asteroid Day which is supported by the Government of Luxembourg and international space agencies and satellite companies. In 2016 it was sanctioned by the United Nations as an official day to increase global awareness and education of asteroids. The other co-founders are legendary Queen guitarist Dr Brian May, Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart, and German filmmaker Grigorij Richters.  

Katie Young