The Class 11 students Shiv Mahadev and Kishore Kumar of Shri Natesan Vidyasala Mat. Hr. Sec. School, Mannivakkam, attended a workshop in connection with All India Asteroid Search Campaign for the year 2016, which is to run between July 26th to August 23rd.
AIASC took off into its seventh year starting June 2016 in which Shri Natesan Vidyasala had been participating in this project right from its first year with several preliminary discoveries, observations and confirmations of asteroids and NEOs to its credit. The project is conducted in collaboration with International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC, Hardin-Simmons University, Texas, USA). SPACE an NGO based at Delhi is the coordinator for this highly recognized programme in India.
The selected students get exclusive access to images of the sky taken at observatories and analyze the data with specialized software provided during training to look for asteroids. All observations contribute to the Near Earth Object (NEO) data compiled by NASA and JPL.
Students get the exciting opportunity to work with professional astronomers, get access to real astronomy data and are exposed to research in this field all of which is normally only available to postgraduate students. The projects is time bound and we are to analyze the image sets at the earliest and send the report as quickly as possible for we run the risk of losing access to the image sets later.
"It is really going to be exciting and we are hopeful of making some significant preliminary discoveries and confirmations this year too" was the response of the participant students.