News : Ryan School on Cloud Nine

Ryan School on Cloud Nine

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Ryan School on Cloud Nine

Amanjot Singh and Sahil Wadhwa, both students of Ryan International School at Rohini here, have made history of sorts by discovering the main belt asteroid named “2010 PO24”.

The discovery, made on 6th August, 2010, is unique as for the first time an asteroid has been discovered by any school in the country.

The students made the unique discovery while participating in the All-India Asteroid Search Campaign conducted by Science Popularisation Association of Communicators and Educators (SPACE) in collaboration with International Astronomical Search Collaboration.

Ever since the discovery, Sahil is on cloud nine. “Since Class VII I have been interested in astronomy. We were trained how to use the software. Dr. Patrick Miller from the US used to transmit pictures of celestial objects taken from his 32-inch and 24-inch telescopes to us.

We used the software to analyse the pictures and after detecting the correct one, we got confirmation of our discovery,” says Sahil, who is a Class XII Science student.

Congratulating the students, SPACE president C. B. Devgun said it is a proud moment for the student community in the country. “Through this programme, we have given school children an opportunity to be involved in real-time science and an exciting opportunity to be at the forefront of research at the international level.

Selected schools have been given exclusive access to data sets of the sky provided by the observatory in order to look for asteroids. It is quite an achievement, especially when the whole nation is gearing up to celebrate Independence Day.”

When near earth objects (NEOs) are first discovered, the impact risk with earth is evaluated and placed onto the potentially hazardous asteroid list maintained by the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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They stay on that list until the orbit has been further refined and the impact risk is re-assessed.

So far all re-assessments including this one have led to the NEOs from being removed from the list. This is a very rare and important observation, said Mr. Devgun.

To make a double impact, students P. Jhaveri, A. Shah and M. Shastri from the SPACE Nodal Centre Navrachana School, Vadodara, have also made a virtual impactor observation (asteriods with a possibility of impacting the earth) discovery of “2010 NB2” on 19th July, 2010 as part of the same programme.

All the students are members of various SPACE clubs across the country.

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Amanjot Singh and Sahil Wadhwa, both students of Ryan International School at Rohini here, have made history of sorts by discovering the main belt asteroid named “2010 PO24”.

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