Bring your personal ‘space oddities’ to Western’s Asteroid Day event

Western University

A meteorite recovered from Tagish Lake (2000) in northwestern British Columbia by a scientific team including faculty from Western University.

Are you desperate to find out, once and for all, if the rock your grandfather found when he was plowing the family farm back in the 1960s actually fell from the heavens? Or what about the weird object you found on the beach in Port Stanley that’s kind of magnetic and kind of shiny and might just be from space but you’re not quite sure. Well, here’s your chance.

Western University is hosting its fourth annual Asteroid Day event on Saturday, June 29 from 5:30 to 11 p.m. and Alysha McNeil will be in attendance to inspect potential meteorites. McNeil serves as Western’s Geosciences Collection Curator. This is the only public event in the calendar year when this service is available.

Asteroid Day at Western, which is run by the Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration in collaboration with the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada – London Centre, is the only registered Asteroid Day event in Canada celebrating this international awareness campaign.

Asteroid Day is a global awareness campaign where people from around the world come together to learn about asteroids and what people can do to protect our planet, families, communities and future generations from asteroid impacts. It is held each year on June 30, the anniversary of the largest impact in recent history, the 1908 Tunguska event in Siberia.

For more information on the 1908 Tunguska event and how it ties into research at Western, please visit


WHEN: Saturday, June 29, 5:30 – 11:00 P.M.
WHERE: Western’s Hume Cronyn Memorial Observatory

6:30 p.m. “Asteroids: deadly danger or imminent catastrophe? (or maybe neither!)”

Paul Wiegert, a Professor in Western’s Department of Physics and Astronomy and an expert on asteroids, comets and planetary dynamics, will present a talk answering the questions: What are asteroids exactly? How do astronomers search for them? What danger do they pose?

7 p.m. “W.G. Colgrove and the Dresden Meteorite”

Mark Tovey, an Adjunct Research Professor in Western’s Department of History and a member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, will discuss the life W.G. Colgrove and the role he played in the Dresden meteorite story, how the Dresden meteorite came to Western and the story behind the ‘new’ Dresden meteorite – now in 3D printed form.

For more information and further event details about Asteroid Day, please visit

EVENT CONTACT: Parshati Patel, Education and Public Outreach Program Coordinator, Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration, 519-701-7110 and

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165, 519-520-7281 (mobile),, @jeffrenaud99

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