Asteroid Day 2019

June 30, 2019

Come celebrate Asteroid Day at Flandrau! On Sunday, June 30, we'll have two special asteroid presentations (free!), hands-on activities, and a special screening of the fulldome planetarium show ASTEROID: MISSION EXTREME. Celebrated internationally, Asteroid Day has been designated to highlight asteroid science and exploration, research where the University of Arizona leads the way! Along with the free presentations, we’ll offer special discounted admission prices: $5 for exhibits, $5 for planetarium shows. Reserve your free presentation tickets below.

Fascinating New Asteroid Science From the OSIRIS-REx Mission
At 2pm, for the first of the two free special presentations, OSIRIS-REx team member Dolores Hill will give a presentation titled “OSIRIS-REx Encounters Asteroid Bennu!” about all the exciting new science that has been discovered since the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft reached Bennu, its target asteroid. UA leads the OSIRIS-REx mission for NASA. This groundbreaking mission will grab a sample from Bennu and bring it back to Earthfor analysis. Never before has a NASA mission returned a sample from an asteroid. That sample will be a scientific time capsule from 4.5 billion years ago, and may hold answers about the origins of our solar system and iife on Earth! 

Hill will explain the surprising science we’ve learned about the asteroid Bennu since the spacecraft arrived in December 2018, and she’ll talk about the next steps for sample acquisition. Right now, mission scientists and engineers are collaborating to carefully select a site for the 5-second "touch-and-go" collection of material from Bennu, the sample that will return to Earth in 2023.

Reserve your free tickets here: OSIRIS-REx Discoveries

New Book About Killer Asteroids
At 4pm, the second of the two free special presentations will feature author Gordon Dillow giving a presentation titled “Cosmic Collisions, Killer Asteroids, and the Race To Defend the Earth” based his new book Fire in the Sky

You’ll learn how scientists discover and track asteroids in the effort to protect our Earth. Did you know that there are more than 17,000 Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that fly close to the Earth at some point in their orbit? All those NEOs are asteroids, and more than half of them were discovered by the Catalina Sky Survey based right here at the University of Arizona! 

Dillow’s presentation will be followed by a book signing. Fire in the Sky books will be available for purchase. 

Reserve your free tickets here: Fire In the Sky

Asteroid Activities
Visitors will also learn about these fascinating space rocks through special guided asteroid activities that educate and entertain, alongside exhibits about asteroids and an array of meteorite specimens (meteorites are small asteroids that have fallen to Earth). 

Presentations, activities, exhibits, and a special planetarium show, it all adds up to an asteroid extravaganza. Plus, guests can enjoy Flandrau’s new Sharks exhibit and inspiring planetarium shows.

Come join us to celebrate asteroids with cool science on a hot day!