Asteroids orbit the Sun between Mars and Jupiter in the asteroid belt. But near-Earth asteroids come much closer to our planet. Major collisions are exceedingly rare, but there are about a million near-Earth asteroids that are large enough to substantially damage or destroy a major city.

Learn about the risks and the steps that are needed to avoid these potential natural disasters from a group of astronauts and cosmonauts who recently helped develop recommendations to the United Nations for defending Earth from asteroid impact. Neil deGrasse Tyson hosts the discussion, which will be streamed live right here beginning at 11 am EST on October 25.

With current space technology, scientists know how to deflect the majority of hazardous near-Earth objects. But prevention is only possible if nations work together on detection and deflection.


The discussion takes place the same week the United Nations General Assembly adopts measures creating an international decision-making mechanism for planetary asteroid defense.

Participants include:

Neil deGrasse Tyson, Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium

Thomas Jones, former NASA astronaut, senior research scientist at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition, and Association of Space Explorers (ASE) Near Earth Objects Committee member


Russell Schweickart, former NASA astronaut, ASE co-founder and Near Earth Objects Committee member, and co-founder and chairman emeritus of the B612 Foundation

Dumitru-Dorin Prunariu, former Romanian astronaut, ASE co-founder and Near Earth Objects Committee member, and vice president of the European International Institute for Risk, Security, and Communication Management

Soichi Noguchi, engineer and JAXA astronaut, and ASE Near Earth Objects Committee member

Edward Lu, former NASA astronaut, ASE Near Earth Objects Committee member, and co-founder, chairman, and CEO of the B612 Foundation.

This panel discussion is cohosted by the Museum and the ASE, the professional society of astronauts and cosmonauts.

Update: Watch a video of the live stream here:

Image: The orbits of all known Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (NASA/JPL-Caltech)