M94, by Bernard Miller
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Jun
30
Wed
International Asteroid Day
Jun 30 all-day

Asteroid Day LogoFlattened trees at Tunguska siteInternational Asteroid Day is a United Nations-recognized day observed each year at the international level during the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, Russian Federation. The goal of International Asteroid Day is to raise public awareness about the asteroid impact hazards.

The Tunguska explosion of June 30, 1908 knocked down some 80 million trees over an area of 2,150 square kilometres (830 sq mi); the shock wave from the blast would have measured about 5.0 on the Richter scale.

 

Oct
4
Mon
World Space Week
Oct 4 – Oct 10 all-day

World Space Week is the largest space event on Earth. More than 8,000 events in 96 countries celebrated “The Moon: Gateway to the Stars” last year. This year the theme is “Satellites Improve Life.” In 2021, World Space Week celebrates “Women in Space.”

“The General Assembly declares 4 to 10 October World Space Week to celebrate each year at the international level the contributions of space science and technology to the betterment of the human condition”

UN General Assembly resolution, 6 December 1999

Jan
1
Sat
New Year’s Day
Jan 1 all-day

The year in the Roman calendar naturally starts on March 1. After all, the words September, October, November, and December literally mean Seventh Month, Eighth Month, Ninth Month, and Tenth Month, respectively.

Keeping track of the passage of years was primarily the concern of those keeping historical records. Ordinary people were not particularly concerned with long-scale time reckoning. In many ancient cultures historical events were dated in regnal years, i.e., using a time reckoning system starting with the anniversary of a sovereign’s accession or coronation. Under this system, the first day of the new year is the anniversary of the king’s or pope’s accession, i.e., the new year’s day would change with every new ruler.

In most cultures, new year’s day was not a cause for celebration for its own sake. People may have celebrated the anniversary of the king’s ascension or some religious feast, and the fact that these were used in time reckoning as dividing points between two consecutive years was quite secondary. In medieval Europe, March 25 (the Annunciation) was probably the most widespread new year’s day but the practice was far from universal. For instance, Rome used December 25 while Florence used March 25.

January 1 became new year’s day gradually from the 14th to the beginning of the 19th century.

Jan
17
Mon
Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Jan 17 all-day

Portrait of Martin Luther King Jr. Credit: Nobel Foundation

“Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement from 1955 until his assassination in 1968. Born in Atlanta, King is best known for advancing civil rights through nonviolence and civil disobedience, tactics his Christian beliefs and the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi helped inspire.” – Wikipedia

Feb
2
Wed
Presentation of the Lord (Candlemas).
Feb 2 all-day

A tapestry from Strasbourg depicting the Purification of the Virgin Mary and the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.

Candlemas (also spelled Candlemass), also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ and the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a Christian Holy Day commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It is based upon the account of the presentation of Jesus in Luke 2:22–40. In accordance with Leviticus 12: a woman was to be purified by presenting lamb as a burnt offering, and either a young pigeon or dove as sin offering, 33 days after a boy’s circumcision. It falls on February 2, which is traditionally the 40th day of the ChristmasEpiphany season. – Wikipedia

 

Feb
11
Fri
International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
Feb 11 all-day

Illustration of Vera Rubin from a series of illustrations for the International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Credit: BEATRIZ ARRIBAS DE FRUTOS.

A significant gender gap has persisted throughout the years at all levels of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines all over the world. Even though women have made tremendous progresses towards increasing their participation in higher education, they are still underrepresented in these fields.

Gender equality has always been a core issue for the United Nations. Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls will make a crucial contribution not only to economic development of the world, but to progress across all the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as well.

On 14 March 2011, the Commission on the Status of Women adopted a report at its fifty-fifth session, with agreed conclusions on access and participation of women and girls in education, training and science and technology, and for the promotion of women’s equal access to full employment and decent work. On 20 December 2013, the General Assembly adopted a resolution on science, technology and innovation for development, in which it recognized that full and equal access to and participation in science, technology and innovation for women and girls of all ages is imperative for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

On 22 December 2015, the General Assembly adopted a resolution to establish an annual International Day to recognize the critical role women and girls play in science and technology communities. In welcoming the efforts of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN-Women), the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and other relevant organizations that support and promote the access of women and girls and their participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education, training and research activities at all levels decided to proclaim 11 February of each year the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
Source: https://www.un.org/en/events/women-and-girls-in-science-day/background.shtml

Read More:
https://www.un.org/en/events/women-and-girls-in-science-day/
https://www.iau-100.org/women-and-girls-in-astronomy-day

Feb
14
Mon
St Valentine’s Day.
Feb 14 all-day

Oil painting of St. Valentine by Leonhard Beck from around 1510.

Saint Valentine (ItalianSan ValentinoLatinValentinus) was a widely recognized 3rd-century Roman saint, commemorated in Christianity on February 14. From the High Middle Ages his Saints’ Day is associated with a tradition of courtly love. – Wikipedia

Feb
15
Tue
Anniversary of the 2013 Chelyabinsk Asteroid Impact Event
Feb 15 all-day

On February 15 2013 an asteroid exploded in the sky over the city of Chelyabinsk, in the the southern Ural region of Russia. The shock wave blew out windows all over the city, injuring over 1600 people, and damaged several buildings.

This event could well be the tipping point in public awareness about asteroids; a year after the event, the B612 Foundation and hundreds of scientists, engineers, entertainers, astronauts, astronomers, politicians, citizen activists and others got involved in what has turned into the global AsteroidDay campaign.

Each year, on the anniversary of the Tunguska Impact, events are held around the world to raise awareness of asteroids: their potential for space-side exploitation, planet-side destruction, and impact mitigation.

See also: #AsteroidDay

Jun
30
Thu
International Asteroid Day
Jun 30 all-day

Asteroid Day LogoFlattened trees at Tunguska siteInternational Asteroid Day is a United Nations-recognized day observed each year at the international level during the anniversary of the Tunguska impact over Siberia, Russian Federation. The goal of International Asteroid Day is to raise public awareness about the asteroid impact hazards.

The Tunguska explosion of June 30, 1908 knocked down some 80 million trees over an area of 2,150 square kilometres (830 sq mi); the shock wave from the blast would have measured about 5.0 on the Richter scale.