A teacher-student duo has discovered three new asteroids as part of an International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) Citizen Science Programme, organised by National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Both were part of the Tiruchi Astro Club, which participated in the programme.
Bala Bharathi alias K. Balakrishnan, Principal, Bharathi Matriculation Higher Secondary School, and G. Aazhimukilan, a first-year B.Sc. Physics student of St. Joseph’s College in Trichy, took part in the International Asteroid Search Campaign, wherein they discovered three new asteroids.
‘Many people think that one requires a telescope to view and identify asteroids. Although that would help, we used a software called Astronomica, prescribed by NASA,’ the duo said in a statement. NASA had a special telescope installed in Hawaii, which takes pictures of the sky at regular intervals. As part of this programme, these photographs are sent to the participants.
The three asteroids identified by them have been temporarily named BBM2101, BBM2102, and BBM2103. ‘NASA will study them in detail, determining orbit, size, speed, among other details, following which they would be given an official name.