Today is Asteroid Day. The Asteroid Day Movement is a global coalition of scientists, astronauts, physicists, artists, musicians and concerned citizens coming together to organize an international asteroid awareness movement. The campaign focuses the world's attention not just on the nature of asteroids but also on the solutions that will protect all citizens of Earth from future asteroid impacts.
"Asteroid Day is a global awareness campaign where people from around the world come together to learn about asteroids and what we can do to protect our planet, families, communities, and future generations from future asteroid impacts. Asteroid Day will be held on the anniversary of the Tunguska event in Siberia, the largest asteroid to impact Earth in recent history - an asteroid that devastated an area about the size of any major metropolitan area..."
The group's concern is that despite having the technology to detect and defend our planet against asteroids, world leaders choose to do nothing, which the group describes as "playing Russian Roulette with our lives."
The movement was started by Grigorij Richters, who was inspired when he watched a BBC documentary called "Asteroids: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly." Upon seeing this documentary, his time was immediately consumed by research into the "potential cataclysm" our planet faces at the hands of Near-Earth Objects.
He decided to raise awareness about the subject. He screened his film "51º North" for the first time at the Starmus Festival, and it was praised by famous scientists like Richard Dawkins, Stephen Hawking and David Eicher, who encouraged him to do more than just filmmaking to raise awareness.
The movement has truly begun to take off with help from the Association of Space Explorers (ASE) Near Earth Objects (NEO) Committee, becoming a scientifically backed organization.