ALL-Sri Lanka Asteroid Search Campaign


ARIS Illustration

228 New Asteroids in The Solar System were discovered by Sri Lankan research students

International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) of Hardin-Simmons University at Texas - USA collaborating with Astronomical Research Institute of Sri Lanka (Local organizer), under the support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) organized 1st All-Sri Lanka Asteroid Search Campaign (ASASC) for the 1st time in Sri Lanka. It was held from 27th of May to 21st of June 2019 with the participation of 25 selected teams comprising 123 students, representing different schools, universities and science societies in all over the island.

We organized this research based event with leading international organizations for citizen scientists in Sri Lanka in order to give them a practical exposure to analyze scientific data taken from the large astronomical observatories in the world. Many training sessions were conducted by ARIS for participants to get prepared for the campaign successfully. During the campaign period, participants were able to access data taken from one of the world’s largest astronomical camera and analyzed them using online computer software. It was an invaluable opportunity for the Sri Lankan group of students to participate in such an internationally recognized research campaign through ARIS.

In this research campaign, Sri Lankan students have made a groundbreaking achievement by discovering 228 new main-belt asteroids in the Solar system. This achievement of Sri Lankan students was highly appreciated by international organizations and the discoveries were scientifically published by IASC. Discovering new asteroids is highly important for solving some unrevealed problems regarding the origin of our solar system, origin of life of earth and for measuring the dangers that could be caused by asteroids to life on Earth.

Press Release

New Scientific discoveries from Sri Lankan research students .

ශ්‍රී ලාංකික පර්යේෂණ ශිෂ්‍යයින්ගෙන් සෞරග්‍රහ මණ්ඩලයේ නව සොයාගැනීම් .

Discoveries

Here are the all the discoveries made by Sri Lankan Researchers in ASASC 2019. Click here to see the full list.

Useful Links

  • ARIS Astromectica Training Materials: https://github.com/sankhaKarunasekara/ASASC2019
  • Astrometica Home page: http://iasc.cosmosearch.org/Astrometrica.html
  • All Sri Lankan Asteroid Searching Campaign: http://iasc.cosmosearch.org/iasc/Sri%20Lanka.html
  • Discoveries & Observations update: http://iasc.cosmosearch.org/iasc/discover.html?
  • Minor planet center report spec: https://minorplanetcenter.net//iau/info/OpticalObs.html
  • Astrometrica FAQ: http://wise.ssl.berkeley.edu/documents/IASC%20FAQ.pdf
  • Minor Planet DB Search: https://minorplanetcenter.net/db_search

Teams

25 Teams was selected for the first All-Sri Lanka asteroid search campaign. Click here to see the full list of selected teams.

All Sri Lanka Asteroid Searching Campaign

International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) of Hardin-Simmons University at Texas - USA collaborating with Astronomical Research Institute of Sri Lanka (Local organizer), under the support of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) organized 1st All-Sri Lanka Asteroid Search Campaign (ASASC) for the 1st time in Sri Lanka. It was held from 27th of May to 21st of June 2019 with the participation of 25 selected teams comprising 123 students, representing different schools, universities and science societies in all over the island.

180+
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Cetificate holders
Floating cubes
Headphones connected to phone

Applications for Second ASASC are now open!

Grab the chance of finding asteroids through real data analysis and of putting your preferite names on them! Discovering something in outer space is an amazing opportunity, but naming them is definitely unique! Astronomical Research Institute, Sri Lanka in collaboration with International Astronomical Search Collaboration presents the All Sri Lankan Asteroids Searching Campaign. What are you waiting for? Be part of this exhilarating experience! Apply now. Application deadline: 01/08/2019

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can participate?

Anyone who is in a high school (class 10-13), Universities and Young Professionals who wants to have hands-on experience to make original discoveries searching asteroid from world-class telescopes can participate in the program.

How can I participate?

Interested students/school/ young professionals send the duly filled application form attached in here. After carefully evaluate the applications will select the teams for the campaign

Is there any limitation for the team registration?

Each team can have a maximum of five participants. As we are looking for enthusiasts/hardworking and passionate researchers/ hunters who are looking for an opportunity to get original astronomical discoveries during their life.

Can I participate without a team?

Yes, in case of free slots you will form a team with other team-less applicants.

How much time will I need to spend each week?

Your team will get 3-5 image sets per week. This is an average depending upon the Moon and weather. It takes about 20 minutes to analyse one set. Add some time to prepare the MPC report and we are talking about 1.5 to 2 hours per week.

Do I need to have any knowledge about asteroids or have experience in searching for them?

No, you can join the search even if you know nothing about asteroids. It will be a great way to learn about them.

Does my team have to be located in the same city?

No, you do not have to be located in the same city to work on the images. Although you can of course meet face-to-face to analyse the data, you can work via internet with other team members as well.

How will the teams be selected?

The teams will be selected on the one paragraph description of the team member’s individual motivations (80%) as well as their regional distribution (20%).

How can I prepare for the campaign?

Once selected, we will ask each team to do a tutorial of the Astrometrica software and practice by themselves. And also before the campaign commence, we will do training workshop of how to use Astrometrica and How to detect the true signatures.

What if I miss an image set due to exams or other reasons?

Missing an image set every once in a while can happen, so don’t worry too much about it, especially if you inform your team beforehand so they can adjust to the situation. Should it happen that an entire team misses image sets repeatedly, teams will not be sent any new images and the campaign is over for them. Therefore, try your best to analyse each image set – this also increases your chances of discovering an asteroid.

Where do the images come from?

IASC works with the Pan-STARRS (University of Hawaii) from which they receive and use their data exclusively all year-round. Images are usually taken the night before being sent to the participating teams.

What kind of asteroids can I find?

To date students participating in IASC have made 1500 preliminary MBA (Main Belt Asteroid) discoveries, of which two are NEOs (one is a PHA) and one is a Trojan. Currently, 52 have been catalogued and numbered with the student discoverers now proposing their own names to the IAU.

What happens when I discover an asteroid?

IASC will handle many of the follow-ups for the student discoveries. They use the Faulkes Telescope Program (2-m), the 1.3-m RCT at Kitt Peak maintained by Western Kentucky University, and 0.81-m RC at Tarleton State University (Stephenville, TX). IASC also make use of the Sierra Stars Observatory Network (Markleeville, CA), which has a 0.61-m and 0.81-m. The 0.61-m at the Shiaparelli Observatory (Northern Italy), 2.5-m at Magdalena Ridge Observatory, and 0.81-m at the ARI are used upon special request for fast and slow movers (e.g., NEOs and Trojans). In case the follow-up confirms your discovery, it is given a provisional designation by the Minor Planet Center. In 3-6 years as additional observations are made and the orbit is fully determined, the asteroid is numbered and placed into the world’s official minor planets catalog by the International Astronomical Union. Numbered asteroids can be named by their discoverers.

What are the technical requirements?

The participating team must have access to computer/laptop (operating system: Windows 7 or 10 only) with good internet connection (at least 512kbps or preferably 1Mbps or above).

Have additional questions?

Feel free to Join the discussion. Or reach out to us,[email protected] or on Facebook.

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