Richmond Astronomical Society

Citizen Science

Oct 21st, 2016 | By | Category: Blog, Events

If you have read more than a few of our updates, you will have had the pleasure of seeing some beautiful images captured and processed by Madhup Rathi.  In addition to taking pretty pictures, he also submits asteroid tracking data to the Minor Planet Center & University Of Arizona scientists, as they are interested in tracking movement of certain asteroids to better understand their orbit – so that they can figure out if some large asteroid is going to wipe out humans!

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asteroids_passing_earth-image-courtesy-nasa

Artist’s conception of asteroids passing Earth – image courtesy of NASA

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Madhup periodically takes three images 30 minutes apart of the same area of sky and calculates the location of the asteroid for each of the image timestamps using specialized software and sends this data to the project manager.  If anyone is interested in participating in data collection for this purpose, please see Madhup at a monthly RAS meeting or contact president@richastro.org.  You can also find other opportunities to do citizen science at these links:

http://cosmoquest.org/

https://science.nasa.gov/citizen-scientists/

http://www.asteroidmission.org/get-involved/target-asteroids/

 

 

 

 

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