Watch live: Experts discuss why Asteroid Day could save us from catastrophy

A devastating asteroid impact has been the topic of science fiction, but a whole bunch of real-world scientists think it’s cause for concern. Richard Dawkins, Bill Nye, Neil deGrasse Tyson, and Queen guitarist-turned-astrophysicist Brian May are among the hundreds of scientists who’ve shown support for Asteroid Day, an event that was sanctioned by the United Nations in December.

Today, astronomers from around the world hold a press conference to discuss the benefits and threats of asteroids, leading up to the first official U.N. event, which will be held on June 30, the anniversary of the tremendous Tunguska impact in Siberia in 1908. The press conference itself is appropriately timed — just a day before the four-year anniversary of the Chelyabinsk meteor, which made waves in dash-cam videos across the internet and convinced at least one astronomy writer about the potential danger of such a strike. At just 65 feet wide (small in the cosmic scale of things) the meteor’s impact was still powerful enough to injure 1,500 people and damage over 7,000 buildings.

Asteroid Day was founded by filmmaker Grig Richters and Brian May in 2014, with the initial event held a year later. The goal of the event is to raise awareness of the potential for an asteroid impact, while detecting new asteroids and researching ways to deflect ones that are potentially threatening. Last November, the team gathered over 200 signatures from top scientists for “I Support AIM,” a campaign to get funding for the Asteroid Impact Mission.

“We do not have to be concerned about a significant asteroid impacting Earth on the short-middle term, if significant means a body that is capable of global effects,” planetary scientist Patrick Michel told Digital Trends in November. “Most objects larger than 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) are known and they don’t case a threat on timescales up to or ability to predict their evolutions (typically 100 years) and we follow them up to expand the prediction to longer terms. The uncertainty is for objects larger than 140 meters (450 feet), capable of regional damages. We only know a small fraction of them, about 15 percent.”

AIM was denied funding by the European Space Agency (ESA) in December.

Today’s press conference will feature top asteroid experts from around the world. Catch the live-stream from 8:30 a.m. ET, or rewatch the event here.

Emerging Tech

Does a steam-powered spacecraft hold the key to exploring the solar system?

A newly developed spacecraft prototype capable of using steam as a propellent may help the first miners survey potential dig sites and identify space rocks best fit for mining missions. Future versions may be fitted with sensors, allowing…
Product Review

Packed with features, the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired makes home security a breeze

With an integrated spotlight, crystal-clear video, and color night vision, this device makes home security a cinch. Here's why we like the Ring Spotlight Cam Wired as a great choice for outdoor home security.
Gaming

Exotic Masterwork Weapons are in Destiny 2. Here's how to upgrade

Destiny 2's new Masterwork gear offers a number of special bonuses. Here is what you need to know about it, including how to find the gear in the game and even create it yourself.
Mobile

It hasn't even been announced yet, but you can already reserve the Galaxy S10

It won't be long now. With 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Emerging Tech

Underground volcanoes could explain possible liquid water on Mars

Last year scientists discovered there could be liquid water on Mars. Now a research team argues that for there to be liquid water, there must be an underground source of heat -- and they believe underground volcanoes could be responsible.
Emerging Tech

The 10 most expensive drones that you (a civilian) can buy

OK, these drones may be a bit beyond your budget: Check out the most expensive drones in the world, from industrial giants to highest-end filming tools.
Emerging Tech

Global Good wants to rid the world of deadly diseases with lasers and A.I.

Global Good, a collaboration between Intellectual Ventures and Bill Gates, aims to eradicate diseases that kill children in developing nations. It tackles difficult problems with high-tech prototypes.
Emerging Tech

Of all the vape pens in the world, these 5 are the best

Vaping concentrates has become significantly more popular, especially among those that use cannabis for medicinal purposes. But don’t use just any vape pen: we found these five devices to be our favorites in 2018.
Computing

The HoloLens 2 will be announced at MWC. Here's what we know about it so far

The HoloLens 2 is ripe for an announcement. Here's what Microsoft has revealed so far, what's likely in store for the next generation HoloLens, and everything that we know about this mixed reality headset.
Emerging Tech

A river of stars one billion years old flows across the southern sky

Astronomers have identified a river of stars flowing across our galaxy and covering most of the southern sky. The estimated 4000 stars that comprise the stream were born together and have been moving together for the last one billion years.
Emerging Tech

Descending at an angle could be key to landing heavier craft on Mars

Landing on Mars is a challenge: The heavier the craft, the more difficult a safe landing becomes. Scientists propose using retropropulsion engines and angling the craft to create a pressure differential to land heavier crafts in the future.
Emerging Tech

Ant-inspired walking robot navigates without GPS by using polarized light

What do you get if you cross Boston Dynamics and Ant-Man? You get Antbot, a robot from the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) which uses ant-like navigation to move around without the aid of GPS.
Emerging Tech

InSight’s heat probe will dig 16 feet beneath the surface of Mars

New images from NASA's InSight mission to Mars have confirmed that the lander succeeded in setting the Heat Flow and Physical Properties Package instrument onto the surface, from where a self-hammering spike will burrow downwards.
Emerging Tech

White spots on Ceres are evidence of ancient ice volcanoes erupting

Scientists are pouring over data collected by NASA's Dawn mission to learn about the dwarf planet Ceres and the bright white spots observed at the bottom of impact craters. They believe that these spots are evidence of ice volcanoes.