Sia Kapoor
Sia Kapoor

Sia Kapur of BBPS shines in asteroid search campaign

  • Sia Kapur, a Class 5 student of Bal Bharati Public School (BBPS), GRH Marg, has discovered three asteroids in the Kalam Centre Asteroid Search Campaign organized by Kalam Centre in New Delhi in association with International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC).
PUBLISHED ON JAN 22, 2021 08:50 PM IST

Sia Kapur, a Class 5 student of Bal Bharati Public School (BBPS), GRH Marg, has discovered three asteroids in the Kalam Centre Asteroid Search Campaign organized by Kalam Centre in New Delhi in association with International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC).

Under this programme, which is a part of NASA’s citizen science project, conducted by Hardin Simmons University, USA, IASC and Kalam Centre deployed a unique platform which gave selected participants a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to discover real near-Earth objects and main belt asteroids.

The outreach support was extended by Homi Labs, India’s first future learning lab. Only 22 participants were selected from across the globe who were later trained to analyse data and spot potential asteroids close to Earth. At the end of the campaign, young minds made path breaking contributions to NASA’s Near-Earth Object (NEO) Programme and discovered 27 preliminary asteroids. Selected participants were provided highly specialized training in order to operate the advanced astronomical software Astrometrica.

This software used to analyse images from the ‘Pan Starrs’ (The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System) Telescope, located in Hawaii, USA. It uses a 1.8 m telescope to survey the sky to look for asteroids, comets and NEOs.

Preliminary Discoveries are the first observations of asteroids found in the main belt located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter which need further confirmation to go to provisional status. This usually takes up to five years after which the asteroid can be officially catalogued by the Minor Planet Center of International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Altogether 10 teams participated in the campaign. As part of team Project Valiant, Sia discovered three preliminary asteroids. Principal LV Sehgal congratulated Sia for her momentous achievement and bringing laurels to the school. Sehgal said, “May this path-breaking and astounding discovery be just a foundation stone for achieving milestones in future as well !!” The principal also applauded Kalam Centre and IASC for providing a befitting platform to students to hone their scientific skills. Srijan Pal Singh, Kalam Centre founder and former advisor (technology and policy) to Dr. Kalam, congratulated the students and said, “These discoveries are crucial contributions in our knowledge of cosmos. Knowing the asteroids around and mapping them is an important element in our bid to understand and monitor these flying rocks around our planet.”

All the successful participants were given certificates by Singh during a Graduation Ceremony organized by Kalam Centre.

DAVPS, Sreshtha Vihar, students selected for INSPIRE Award-MANAK

Two students of DAV Public School (DAVPS), Sreshtha Vihar -- Hrithik Khanna of Class 10 and Anmol Upadhyay of Class 8 -- have been selected for INSPIRE Award - MANAK (million minds augmenting national aspirations and knowledge), instituted by the department of science and technology. INSPIRE stands for innovation in science pursuit for inspired research

Both the students will be awarded 10,000 each for their unique and creative ideas. To fight with the problems of anxiety and stress, Hrithik came up with the idea of Nidra Pillow, a unique combination of various automatic devices. It has a device which can form binaural beats to relax the brain and a special sprayer which gives instant and relaxing sleep to the person who uses it.

It can also be used by the elderly people who are dealing with the problem of sleeplessness.

Understanding the importance of water in our lives and preventing its misuse, Anmol came up with an innovative idea of proper management of gallons of water wasted in washing machines. He developed a device to be installed in washing machine which can not only filter and purify the released water but also can store it. This way the large amount of waste water can be conserved and reused. School teacher incharge Suhasini K. Nath appreciated their works and congratulated the budding scientists.

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