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Universe Awareness is a Global Educational Partner of Asteroid Day
9 February 2016

Universe Awareness (UNAWE) is the educational partner of global awareness programme . This was announced today during a at the European Space Agency’s European Space Research and Technology Centre (ESA ESTEC) in Noordwijk, the Netherlands. The global campaign Asteroid Day will take place on 30 June this year. Universe Awareness (UNAWE), an astronomy education and outreach programme of Leiden University, will develop Asteroid Day educational resources for children, in close collaboration with the European Space Agency (ESA).

Asteroid Day is an annual global movement to increase public awareness of potential asteroid impacts with Earth, and the importance of guarding against them. It was co-founded in 2015 by Brian May, astrophysicist and lead guitarist for the rock band Queen, Apollo astronaut Rusty Schweickart, and German filmmaker Grig Richters.

Asteroids can tell us something about our origins, the origin of our solar system, of our planet, and of life. Developing educational resources about asteroids will directly support UNAWE’s vision: which is to inspire every child with the cosmos and provide them with a unique perspective of our place in our Solar System, in our Galaxy and the Universe.

The Asteroid Day resources developed by UNAWE and ESA will be released in April 2016. The educational activities will be published on the peer review platform and disseminated through the Universe Awareness and networks, as well as through the network of Asteroid Day.

“Universe Awareness will develop educational activities for teachers at primary and secondary school level. The topics of the activities will relate to the origin and composition of asteroids, their importance for understanding the origin of the Solar System, and current asteroid surveys and space missions,” says Tibisay Sankatsing Nava, project manager of UNAWE.

In 2015, on the inaugural Asteroid Day, partners organised more than 150 events worldwide, educating millions of people. Sankatsing Nava: “We want to make sure that teachers and parents around the world will have the best educational material available for their activities around Asteroid Day 2016.”


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