Seasonal & Special Events

Asteroid Day

Saturday, July 11
Noon to 4pm

Cranbrook Institute of Science is hosting a series of activities, displays and lectures in observance of Asteroid Day, a global movement established to heighten awareness of the potential threat to humanity posed by asteroid impacts. It is estimated that there are a million asteroids in our solar system that have the potential to strike Earth and destroy a city but to date we’ve only discovered one percent of them!

More than 100 leading scientists, astronauts and business leaders from 30 countries have recently established Asteroid Day to bring the point home to the public. Unlike other natural disasters we have the technology to prevent asteroid impacts if we discover them in time to act.

Cranbrook Institute of Science will feature a noon lecture Asteroids, Near Earth Objects and Meteorites – The Threat from Space by local astronomer and NASA Solar System Ambassador Robert Trembley.

Short presentations by Institute Curator and Geologist John Zawiskie at 2 and 3pm will examine asteroid impacts in Egypt and Southeast Asia, and offer an update on the impact theory for dinosaur extinction.

Other activities include:

  • See new meteorites in the recently revised Rocks from Space exhibit, which has special components dealing with historic large impacts in Siberia and Western Russia and several meteorites that have fallen in Michigan and Canada;  
  • Inspect and handle genuine meteorites, asteroid impact glass (tektites), shatter cones and other impact deposits from the institute’s extensive education collection – the largest in Michigan;  
  • See and touch the famous fallout layer from the dino - killing impact, collected in southern Colorado;  
  • Learn to distinguish meteorites from meteor wrongs and bring in specimens for identification and make their own asteroid art.

The space theme is further reinforced by planetarium shows, visiting the cutting edge solar Observatory (weather permitting) and the popular traveling exhibit Cranbrook Space Odyssey.

For more information on Asteroid Day: