Asteroid Day, the official United Nations’ day of global awareness and education about asteroids, will celebrate its sixth anniversary on 30 June 2020. What began as two live stream broadcasts in 2014, now includes thousands of independent events organized by institutions around the world on all five continents.
Asteroid Day was co-founded by astrophysicist and famed musician Dr. Brian May of the rock group QUEEN; Apollo 9 Astronaut Rusty Schweickart; Filmmaker Grig Richters; and B612 President Danica Remy, to promote awareness and provide knowledge to the general public about the importance of asteroids in the formation of our universe and the role they play in our solar system today. Events are scheduled during the week of June 30th, the date of the largest asteroid strike on Earth recorded to date, known as the “Tunguska event”.
General information about the international Asteroid Day: https://asteroidday.org/
Asteroid Day at NHM Vienna, June 30th, 2020
For the 6th international Asteroid Day, on June 30th 2020, the Natural History Museum Vienna will celebrate 40 years since the discovery of the evidence of the dinosaur-killing asteroid impact 66 million years ago.
In two exclusive guided tours behind the scenes, given in English and limited to a maximum of 15 persons each, Dr. Ludovic Ferrière, curator of the meteorite collection, will explain as a “back to the future detective story” how the dinosaur-killing asteroid impact was discovered.
The tours will start with Cretaceous–Paleogene (K–Pg) boundary samples, i.e., ejecta that resulted from the impact and which can be found all around the Earth, even on the Austrian territory. You will be able to put your finger on the geological layer that was deposited “on the day when dinosaurs were killed”. Dr. Ferrière will explain and show you some of the unique markers of the collision that were found in this clay layer under the microscope. He will then take you to “ground zero”, the 200 km in diameter Chicxulub impact crater, located in Mexico. The virtual travel will be embellished with the inspection of a number of drill core samples recovered during the 2016 international drilling campaign at the Chicxulub for which Dr. Ferrière was representing Austria. During this campaign, samples of the shocked, brecciated, and melted rocks were drilled down to 1,334.7 meter below the surface. You will have the chance to see how they look like with your naked eyes but also through the microscope - a “shocking experience”.
Together with local and international colleagues, Dr. Ferrière continues today to investigate these rocks that contain all the information relevant to reconstruct the dinosaur-killing impact event and its consequences. In summary, a unique chance to learn about recent or even ongoing scientific discoveries.
One of the take-home messages of the tours’ “the good news about the bad news”, is that even it was very destructive, without this huge asteroid impact, we would likely not be here today!
4:30 p.m.: Guided tour (behind the scenes): 40th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Evidence of the Dinosaur-killing Asteroid Impact (given by Dr. Ludovic Ferrière, in English).
6:00 p.m.: Guided tour (behind the scenes): 40th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Evidence of the Dinosaur-killing Asteroid Impact (given by Dr. Ludovic Ferrière, in English).
The guided tours are free, limited to a maximum of 15 persons each: firstname.lastname@example.org
Meeting point at the side entrance of the NHM Vienna, Burgring 7, 1010 Vienna