"Ignited Mind of the youth is the most powerful resource on the Earth, above the Earth and under the Earth" - Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
Kalam Centre Asteroid Search Campaign
November 9, 2020 - December 3, 2020
Kalam Centre Asteroid Search Campaign is a unique educational outreach campaign organized by Kalam Centre in association with the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC), conducted by Dr. Patrick Miller of Hardin Simmons University, USA. The students will be specially trained to search asteroids in the Main Belt Asteroid through advanced data analysis and specially designed software.
Students get access to real-time data from the ‘Pan Starrs’ (The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) Telescope, located at Hawaii, USA which uses a 1.8 m (60 inch) telescope to survey the sky to look for asteroids, comets and Near-Earth Objects (NEO).
The Campaign enables the students and amateurs to get exclusive access to astronomy images, which are otherwise not accessible till the postgraduate level, and they get training in advanced data analysis and software as well as interact with international scientists, all of which builds up to an invaluable real-time research experience. Through this campaign, students make confirmed discoveries of Main Belt Asteroids and important observations that contribute to the NASA Near-Earth Object (NEO) Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, CA).
What is the process to participate?
1. Register for Kalam Centre Asteroid Search Campaign. Participation is online and completely free. Students in a team of up to 3 students with one teacher/faculty can participate. Please note that a teacher/faculty is just required as a mentor.
2. Shortlisted students shall be taken through a wonderful journey of asteroid hunting through our own online platform. Original datasets from the Pan-STARRS telescope, Hawaii will be analyzed by students, who are pre-trained to analyze the datasets.
3. Participants are trained with the Astrometrica software which provides the ability to easily compare astronomical images for the purpose of moving object discovery. Participants will have to differentiate between the true and the false signatures and analyze the data as not all moving objects are asteroids.
4. Once an asteroid is discovered by a participant, it shall be named as a preliminary discovery. The next stage is the provisional discovery which gives the asteroid the provisional name. Finally, the asteroid with the provisional name will receive an official numbering and will be eligible for naming and will be cataloged by International Astronomical Union. All the participants have received a certificate for their valuable contributions to the observation of near-earth objects and main belt objects, certified by NASA, IASC and Pan Starrs observatory.