A prestigious international citizen science program initiated by Principal Scientific Adviser (PSA), Government of India and SPACE Foundation for the first time for Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya’s. This program has given students the opportunity to participate in research program on an international platform.

Earth is hit every day by small bits of space dust. Slightly larger chunks burn up colourfully in the atmosphere, causing the shooting stars you see in the sky. Occasionally even bigger rocks hit our atmosphere posing a threat to Earth, which Earth has witnessed it millions of years ago multiple times. NASA and other organizations do regular scans of the sky to catalogue any small bodies that are at risk of crashing into our planet. NASA began tracking near-Earth objects (NEOs) and started Citizen Science Program for young minds. 

In collaboration with International Astronomical Search Collaboration, SPACE Foundation started Khagolshala Asteroid Search Campaign for the first time for Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya’s. Through this campaign, JNV students got the chance to become the Citizen Scientists and were able to make original astronomical discoveries and participate in hands-on astronomy which also contributes to the NASA Near-Earth Object (NEO) Program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, CA)

Under KASC, students got training on high-level software  and got access to the real-time data from the ‘PANSTARRS’ (The Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System Telescope), located in Hawaii. They got exclusive access to astronomy images, training on advanced data analysis, and software to hunt for the asteroids, which are otherwise not accessible till the postgraduate level.

This is the first time that students of JNV have made a confirmed discovery of asteroids which have been confirmed by International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC), Hardin Simmons University, Texas and International Astronomical Union. These asteroids will be tracked for a minimum of six years to calculate their orbit and trajectory. Once the orbit is confirmed, students will get the opportunity to name them.

These asteroids can potentially pose a threat to Earth, posing the possibility of a collision in the future. This makes these discoveries unique and very important for mankind.

#Asteroids #Spacerocks #jetpropulsionlaboratory #NASA #IASC #AIASC #IAU #JPL #educationforall #governmentstudents #youngastronomers #space #JNV #PMOIndia PMO India Narendra Modi Digital India Department of Science and Technology, Government of India Vigyan Prasar ISRO – Indian Space Research Organisation NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory NASA – National Aeronautics and Space Administration The International Astronomical Union Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV)

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