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Tiruchy Astro Club discovers three asteroids

Bharathi, principal of Bharathi Matriculation Higher Secondary School, inspires students to take interest in astronomy, and is providing training to more than 200 government school students.

Published: 01st July 2021 10:50 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st July 2021 10:50 AM   |  A+A-

Illustration of an asteroid passing by Earth | Nasa Twitter

Express News Service

TIRUCHY: Two members of the Tiruchy Astro Club -- Bala Bharathi and Adi Mukhilan – have discovered three asteroids, and have received certificates for the same from the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) and NASA.

Bharathi, principal of Bharathi Matriculation Higher Secondary School, inspires students to take interest in astronomy, and is providing training to more than 200 government school students.

At the end of IASC's training from May 3-28, the duo was able to make the discovery. They had enrolled in the Citizen Scientist programme of the IASC and were taught the software, Astrometrica.

"There are several objects in the solar system apart from planets. Asteroids are one of them. Many asteroids are found between Mars and Jupiter. Several of these asteroids are potentially hazardous objects. While more than one million asteroids have been discovered, many more are yet to be discovered," said Bharathi.

He added, "Asteroids are found by comparing pictures taken of the same area at different times. While stars remain the same, we can see moving objects in different images. This is called the photometry method. This is method by which Pluto was discovered."

The photos are taken by the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii. The Astro Club analyses the data through Astrometrica.

For their discovery, the three asteroids have been added to the preliminary discovery list. After this, IASC will study the trajectory of the asteroid, which would take about five years. Once the asteroid is confirmed, the Tiruchy Astro Club will be given the chance to name the asteroids. They have to prepare a report.

Bharathi says that this club was the only one from the State which participated in this campaign. "One of the main reasons I got into this programme was to inspire students to do the same. Government school students don't have the resources to enrol for such trainings. I want to pass on my knowledge to help these students develop an interest in astronomy and learn about asteroids," he said.



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