Students of Ryan International School, Sohna Road, have made the city proud as one of their observations on asteroids has been approved as a discovery by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).
What are asteroids? What do they look like? These questions must have often been answered by their parents and teachers. Hardly, did these young minds know that they would discover an asteroid.
Meet Chintan Betrabet and Umang Bhatia, the little scientists of Millennium City. These Class 10 students have discovered ‘asteroid 2011 MP4’. This discovery has been confirmed by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) in the US.
Giving details about the project, Umang and Chintan said, “This was a one-and-a-half month project. We received images from the MPC to identify any change using the software ‘Astrometrica’. We were supposed to analyse minor changes in the position of satellites and other orbits. On June 30 this year, we identified this asteroid and reported it to the MPC.”
After two days, they received a confirmation that it was a provisional discovery. They did nine observations, of which one turned out to be a discovery.
Monika Mehta, their science teacher, said, “We spent days infront of computers as many other schools were also observing the pictures and we never wanted to miss it.”
The campaign started with a workshop in Delhi, which introduced students to asteroids and their properties. All members who attended the workshop were given CDs to install Astrometrica, a software that would help students identify asteroids.
These students would further represent their school in October in an international competition.