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Mar
23
Fun Holiday – Near Miss Day

March 23 is Near Miss Day, an annual reminder of the day in 1989 when an asteroid nearly collided with the Earth.

A 3-D rendering of an asteroid and the Earth by an artist.

An artist's 3-D rendering of an asteroid and the Earth.

©bigstockphoto.com/animaxx3d

The 300-meter wide asteroid called 4581 Asclepius flew past the Earth by a distance of about 450,000 miles (684,000 kms) and almost missed striking it by 6 hours. Experts estimate that if the asteroid had hit the Earth, the resulting collision would have released energy equal to about 1000 atom bombs!

Discovered Days Later

It is a good thing then that the asteroid wasn't discovered until March 31, 9 days after it had flown by the Earth. Named after the Greek god of medicine, Asclepius, was discovered by American astronomers Henry E. Holt and Norman G. Thomas.

Nothing to Worry About

Since 1989, several meteoroids and asteroids have buzzed past the Earth from a safe distance. Scientists and astronomers measure the probability of a celestial object colliding with the Earth on two different scales - the Torino Scale and the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale. According to NASA, there are very few near-Earth objects that have the capacity to hit the Earth and create havoc in the near future.

Space Rocks

Asteroids are space rocks that are a by-product of the formation of the Solar System. Found mostly in the asteroid belt – the region between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, these celestial objects contain minerals highly coveted by humans.

How to Celebrate?

  • This one's easy. Celebrate the day by celebrating life and all the second chances you have ever been given.
  • Learn more about asteroids and other near-Earth objects.

Did You Know...

...that asteroids may have killed the dinosaurs?

Near Miss Day Observances

Fun Holiday: Near Miss Day Observances
YearWeekdayDateName
2018FriMar 23Near Miss Day
2019SatMar 23Near Miss Day
2020MonMar 23Near Miss Day
2021TueMar 23Near Miss Day
2022WedMar 23Near Miss Day
2023ThuMar 23Near Miss Day
2024SatMar 23Near Miss Day
2025SunMar 23Near Miss Day
2026MonMar 23Near Miss Day
2027TueMar 23Near Miss Day

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January 2018
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February 2018
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September 2018
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October 2018
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November 2018
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December 2018
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