Millions of asteroids lurk in our solar system. These chunks of rock and metal are remnants from planetary formation that can unlock the secrets of solar system history. But they also have a darker side. Asteroids have the potential to threaten our existence.
And that’s why citizen astronomers with the Unistellar Network are helping researchers with the daunting task of monitoring the skies for asteroids. Thanks to recent technology advances, this group of amateur astronomers and citizen scientists are making important contributions of their own, from tracking the path of Near-Earth Asteroids across the sky to creating 3-D models of solar system objects. Visit Unistellar’s citizen science page to learn how you can observe asteroids from your backyard!
These observations are coming into even sharper focus as we look forward to the seventh annual Asteroid Day celebration on June 30. The event’s co-founders include Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May, Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart and film director Grigorij Richters. Asteroid Day commemorates the 1908 impact of the Tunguska event, where an asteroid exploded over Siberia and leveled thousands of trees.
Today, Asteroid Day is a chance to explore and learn more about the space rocks orbiting our solar system, from tiny pebbles to dwarf planets like Ceres, the largest known asteroid.
With Unistellar’s game-changing eVscope and stargazing app, amateur astronomers everywhere can watch the skies for asteroids during what’s known as an occultation, when an asteroid passes in front of a bright star. In fact, amateur astronomers in the Unistellar Network have already made a number of amazing contributions to asteroid science. Learn about a few of their contributions here, and don’t forget to visit https://asteroidday.org to discover and celebrate Asteroid Day!