The fact that an asteroid could easily and suddenly obliterate Earth is something people usually try not to think about. But Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May would caution against blissful disregard; thanks to him and three co-founders, the U.N. Committee On The Peaceful Uses Of Outer Space have approved an annual awareness campaign in the form of “International Asteroid Day.”
In regards to this cosmic threat, May has stated, “The more we learn about asteroid impacts, the clearer it became that the human race has been living on borrowed time.” He added that asteroids hit Earth “all the time.”
Early asteroid detection is apparently the key to avoiding the destruction of mankind. Currently, humans only find about a thousand NEOs, or “Near-Earth Objects,” a year. That’s not nearly the amount that could pose a danger to Earth, so Asteroid Day’s “100X Asteroid Declaration” urges the nations of the world to work together to increase the NEO discovery pace to 100,000 a year over the next decade.
So: start getting stoked for International Asteroid Day, i.e. your new annual reminder that the human race is probably doomed, coming June 30. Read here about the asteroid that Brian May recently named after Freddie Mercury in honor of the late singer’s 70th birthday, and below, listen to Queen perform “We Will Rock You” in London in 1977 as a part of one of the most-bootlegged Queen shows ever. Further down, find a May interview circa 1989.