Nehru Science Centre organises lectures on World Asteroid Day

IAS Prelims 2023

Mumbai, 30 June 2021


Nehru Science Centre, Mumbai in association with Vigyan Prasar and Akash Ganga Centre for Astronomy commemorated World Asteroid Day, which is held on 30th June every year as per UN resolution.  It started in 2016 in order to make people aware about the possible impact of Asteroids on Earth and its habitants. To commemorate this day, Nehru Science Centre organised series of lectures.

The lecture started with a presentation by Dr. Narendra Bhandari, Chairman, Planetary Science & Exploration Program of ISRO.  He shared his experience on enjoying the sky watching during his childhood days and requested all the young audience to become a meteorite hunter.  His presentation was focused on various cosmic phenomena, which are controlling life on Earth.  He shared that, human beings are insignificant on this Earth, as most of the things are controlled by Cosmic Phenomena and objects in Solar System and beyond that.

Dr. Narendra Bhandari also connected this with COVID-19 pandemic, which is testimony to the fact that we are trivial so far as life forms on Earth is concerned, because a very small invisible virus forced us to sit back at home, bringing almost every activity to a standstill. He also gave an idea about the possible impact of falling Asteroids or a meteorite giving an example of largest craters on Earth to the tune of 300 kilometre wide and the energy involved. He told that there are about 250 craters existing on Earth, which are of significant size and subject of study by Scientists of various disciplines.  The importance of Asteroids mining and their continuous study was also highlighted by him.

Dr. Ankush Bhaskar, DST/INSPIRE Faculty, Space Physics Laboratory, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre, ISRO, Thiruvananthapuram also spoke during the occasion on “Space weather impact on Asteroids”.  He discussed about the various phenomena and factors, which are controlling Asteroids.  He further discussed about the magnetic field of Sun & various radiations and their possible impact on Asteroids being studied.

These presentations were followed by a live demonstration on Meteorites sample collected by Shri Bharat Adur, Director, Akash Ganga: Centre for Astronomy, from India as well as Abroad. A film was also shown on collected meteorite samples followed by a question-answer session jointly answered by the speakers on relevant topics. While Sh Amritanshu took visitors to a thrilling virtual visit to a site of meteorite recovery giving first-hand account of the same, Dr Shilpa from IIT Bombay explained the detail methods of identifying the meteorites and studying & analysing them in laboratory and the equipment used to do so scientifically.

Sessions ended with fruitful interactions of students and speakers. About 700 people registered for these.


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