August 31st 2016 was a great moment of pride for all Khaitanians. On this day, two of our Astronomy Club students – Ananth Vaibhav (class VII) and K. Arvind (class VIII) made an unprecedented feat of discovering an asteroid, as part of the All India Asteroid Search Campaign (AIASC). They will now have the honor to name the asteroid as well.
AIASC is a part of an international real time science initiative by the SPACE Organization in association with International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC), conducted by Dr. Patrick Miller of Hardin Simons University (TX, USA). 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 (CA, USA).
During the course of this discovery, Ananth and Arvind worked with professional astronomers on real astronomy data and images taken through 24 inch and 32 inch telescopes located at the ARI observatory in the USA. They analyzed the data and images with a specialized software (Astrometrica) provided to them during the training program by SPACE Organization. Our heartiest congratulations to Ananth and Arvind.