|The International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) is the most active current USA-HOU project. IASC provides images and software for schools to participate in a large asteroid-finding research project. The most recent IASC asteroid discoveries may be found on the IASC Campaigns page (http://iasc.hsutx.edu/Campaigns.html. IASC also has a facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/iasc.news.
A preliminary discovery is the first observation of an unknown asteroid. The Minor Planet Center requires within 7-10 days that a preliminary discovery be observed a second time to confirm its existence and better establish its orbit.
When that happens the MPC upgrades the preliminary discovery as a provisional discovery and gives it a new designation (e.g., DDD0032 might become 2013 HX12). The MPC monitors further observations of the discovery until the orbit has been fully determined, a process that takes 3-6 years.
When a provisional discovery has a fully determined orbit it is moved to numbered status and identified in the world’s official minor bodies catalog by the International Astronomical Union (Paris). Numbered asteroids can be named by the student discoverers.
IASC (pronounced “Isaac”) is a collaboration of Hardin-Simmons University (Abilene, TX), Lawrence Hall of Science (University of California at Berkeley), Astronomical Research Institute (Westfield, IL), Global Hands-On Universe Association (Portugal), Sierra Stars Observatory Network (Markleeville, CA), Tarleton State University (Stephenville, TX), The Faulkes Telescope Project (Wales), Yerkes Observatory (Williams Bay, WI), Western Kentucky University (Bowling Green, KY), Las Cumbras Observatory (Santa Barbara, CA), G.V. Schiaparelli Astronomical Observatory (Italy), Mt. Lemmon SkyCenter (Tucson, AZ), and Astrometrica (Austria). Special project collaborations include the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System (University of Hawaii), National Astronomical Observatories of China (Beijing), Astronomers Without Borders (United States), Space Generation Advisory Council (Vienna, Austria), Haus der Astronomie (Heidelberg, Germany), IceCube Neutrino Detector (University of Wisconsin, Madison), and Target Asteroids! (University of Arizona, Tucson).
Provisional Designations (March 2015)
Provisional Designations (2007-2013)
IASC items in HOU news:
2014 Aug 14: Provisional Discoveries. Congratulations go to A. Mishra & K. Vardhan from Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Vasant Vihar. Their preliminary discovery of July 24th was observed a second time and has reached provisional status. That designation is 2014 OO372. Also, A. Sharma & K. Jindal from Bal Bharati Public School, Pitampura had their July 25th preliminary discovery observed a second time. It is now designated as 2014 OU6.
2012 April 21. The International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) made its first TNO discovery today!! Congratulations go to C.-C.Hsueh, J.-J. Ji, Y.-H. Lin, H.-C. Hsieh & A. Hoyle from the National Dali Senior High School in Taiwan. These students discovered 2014 GE45. Their observation was reported to IASC as NDL0020 from their April 4th Pan-STARRS image sets.
This object is not a Main Belt asteroid.
It is a trans-Neptunian object (TNO). Preliminary orbit calculations put it at an average distance of 65 AU from the Sun. At that distance an object takes 562 years to go once around its orbit. To give a comparison, Pluto sits at an average distance of 40 AU from the Sun. At 65 AU, 2014 GE45 would be half-again further out into the Solar System than Pluto.
Congratulations to these 5 students!!
[announced by Dr. Patrick Miller]Department of Mathematics & Astronomy
Holland School of Science & Mathematics
Abilene, TX 79698
Tom Vorobjov directs the IASC Data Reduction Team (IDaRT). Using images from Bob Holmes of the Astronomical Research Institute (Westfield, IL) dated April 19th, he discovered a trans-Neptunian object (TNO) located outside the orbit of Pluto. Its diameter is approximately 200 km. Designated at 2012 HH2 by the Minor Planet Center, the orbit varies from 29.5 AU to 46 AU from the Sun. It has an orbital period of 232 years (orbit diagram below). The Catalina Sky Survey (Tucson, AZ) and the Magdalena Ridge Observatory (Socorro, NM) provided follow-ups. These were important in helping to determine the orbit and establish that 2012 HH2 resides in the outer Solar System. This is a most important discovery…and a first for IASC. Congratulations to Tom and Bob!! —Dr. Patrick Miller, Hardin-Simmons University
2009 Oct 30. From: Patrick Miller. Greetings from the International Astronomical Search Collaboration. The All-Texas Asteroid Search Campaign and NEO Confirmation Campaign are currently on hold. The weather has been overcast and raining for the past five nights at the ARI Observatory. The Full Moon occurs on Monday night so the likelihood remains slim that image sets will be available in the coming days. Should this change, you will be notified immediately.
Unfortunately astronomy is at the mercy of the weather and the Moon. For the past week it seems that both have conspired to slow down IASC and your students from making important discoveries and observations. But be patient…the situation should begin to improve in the coming week.
2009 Oct 20. From: Patrick Miller. Greetings from the International Astronomical Search Collaboration. Congratulations go to D. Hsu, K. Chae, & L. Hennig from Thomas Jefferson High School (VA) for the assisted discovery of 2009 TH2. Also congratulations go to C. Pannill & B. Schmidt from Meredith College (NC) for the assisted discovery of 2009 TH5. Both of these objects are new Main Belt asteroids.
IASC has joined with the Sierra Stars Observatory Network to do follow-ups on original asteroid discoveries. The Minor Planet Center (Harvard) requires follow-ups within 7 days in order to receive credit for these discoveries. You can see how successful this has been since there have been three discoveries within the image sets from October 11th. During the previous campaign with 19 days of image sets, there were no discoveries!!
2009 Oct 13. From: Patrick Miller. IASC congratulations are in order for observations and discoveries:
–R. Watanage from Shizuoka University (Japan) made the confirmation of the near-Earth object (NEO) 2009 TA1. Along with K. Dankov from the Bulgarian Academy of Science, this student made an important observation confirming the orbit of this NEO.
–K. Dankov discovered two new Main Belt asteroids, 2009 TH2 and 2009 TD2.
–Students from Belmont HS, Cordova HS, Folsom Lake College Meredith College, ZSO Toruniu, Colleyville Heritage HS, and Tarrant County CC made NEO observations that were reported as part of the NASA Near-Earth Object Program (Jet Propulsion Laboratory).
2009 Mar 11. The latest round of virtual impactor observations (VIOs) and observations of near-Earth objects (NEOs) are now fully listed at the IASC web site. To date there have been 4 Main Belt asteroid discoveries, 1 NEO discovery, 7 VIOs, 4 NEO confirmations, and 148 NEO observations. The NEO observations are reported to the Minor Planet Center (Harvard) and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (Pasadena, CA) as part of the NASA Near-Earth Object Program. This is truly an impressive list of discoveries and observations!!
Dr. Patrick Miller
2009 Feb 2. Patrick Miller of the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) reports that Steven Kirby, a high school science teacher at Ranger High School (Ranger, TX), discovered a near-Earth object during the Texas Region 14 Big Country Math & Science Symposium. To be more precise, it was co-discovered by the ARI Observatory director Bob Holmes, Steven Kirby, and Kolyo Dankov (a graduate student at the Bulgarian Academy of Science and a participant of the IASC NEO Confirmation Campaign). This is the first time anyone in IASC has discovered an asteroid crossing or near Earth’s orbit. Two other observatories have confirmed the sighting and the orbit for this object is being built by the Minor Planet Center at Harvard – http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/mpec/K09/K09C09.html. It is not unusual to discover a Main Belt asteroid because they number in the hundreds of thousands. The NEOs number in the thousands, and are a much rarer find. Bob Holmes of the Astronomical Research Institute (ARI) observatory adds: “This is not just and NEO. You might be interested to know that the discovery is a ‘Virtual Impactor.’ …It was placed on the NASA/JPL risk page….” This discovery has received national attention on both the Sky & Telescope and Universe Today web sites. For more information, you can check out the story on the Universe Today site. This asteroid is 0.3 km in size and in 2042 will pass within 32,000 km of Earth (5.5 Earth radii), and even closer in 2046. Keep in mind that 32,000 km is actually closer to Earth than the geosynchronous satellites. At 0.3 km in size, it is as large as 3 football fields, and has a mass of 3.5 x 1010 kg. If it were to hit the Earth it would release the energy equivalent to 1000 MT of TNT (i.e., 1000 simultaneous hydrogen bomb explosions). So…you never know what your students may discover as they analyze the many image sets available in their school folders.
Nov 2008. The number of new asteroid discoveries remains at 23 but the list of NEO observations is long and includes many of IASC students. The current campaign continues until December 5, 2008, and we expect still more original discoveries and important contributions to the measurements of the impact threatening near-Earth objects.
2008 April 18. Patrick Miller reports that so far in the International Asteroid Search Campaign (IASC), concluding Friday, May 2, 2008, students found 6 new asteroids, 6 VIO (virtual impactor observations), 4 published NEO observations, and 26 unpublished NEO confirmations. Congratulations to VIII LO, Katowice (Poland), the UAI Minor Planets (Italy) and students from China Hands-On Universe for the discovery of two new Main Belt asteroids!!
Asteroid K08GB1Z – S. Foglia; UAI Minor Planets (Italy); B. Lanuszny, Z. Adamus, K.Gibinski, & A.Mucha; VIII LO, Katowice (Poland)
Asteroid K08GB1Y – S. Foglia; UAI Minor Planets (Italy); M. Zhou; China Hands-On Universe,
2008 Jun 13. Update From: Patrick Miller: We have a list of schools participating in the 2007-2008 asteroid campaigns (plus one pilot supernova campaign). We’ve changed the name of IASC from International Asteroid Search Campaign to International Astronomical Search Collaborative (still calling it “Isaac”). The plan is to completely develop the supernova search campaign and including search campaigns for Kuiper Belt objects and comets.
Since October 2006 at the start of IASC, 97 schools have participated from 9 countries. The countries include China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, Russia, and United States.
Students from these schools have discovered 82 asteroids, made 2 comet confirmations, 6 virtual impactor observations, and hundreds of near-Earth object confirmations. As far as the most number of discoveries, I don’t have this recorded but I believe the schools from Poland hold this title. Some schools have discovered as many as 4 asteroids, as I recall.
Dec 2007. International Asteroid Search Campaign – Teachers and students have successfully completed the Fall 2007 IASC search campaigns. There were a total of 38 new Main Belt asteroids discovered, with 2 more waiting to be announced….2007 VSK1 and 2007 WG00. There were 24 schools participating from 7 countries (Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Poland, Portugal, and United States)…15 were high schools and 9 were colleges. The Spring 2008 campaigns start on February 1, 2008, will include a total 9 countries including China and Russia. See more details on the Asteroid Discoverers.