Indian students will be able to search for asteroids soon to foray in space stream

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Indian students will get an opportunity to join the ambitious asteroid search campaign soon as the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) has extended an invitation to the Rajasthan government to explore opportunities for setting up a joint India-Brazil asteroid search campaign, said Mugdha Sinha, Secretary in the Department of Science and Technology, Rajasthan.

With this collaboration, Indian students will soon be able to search for asteroids to make a mark in the space stream, she added.

Recently, a five-year-old Brazilian boy had become the youngest child in the world to discover an asteroid. In fact, there were 15 of these celestial bodies that the boy discovered and that has been confirmed by the American space agency, NASA. The asteroid search project is coordinated by NASA with the participation of other institutions around the world. He also received a certificate from IASC and NASA for his discoveries, said Mugdha adding, “You never know that a student from our country will soon hit the headlines and garner laurels by making such discoveries and join the international league of space scientists.”

Speaking exclusively to IANS, Mugdha informed “that on Tuesday, she was invited to participate in the opening ceremony of the 2nd International Seminar on Astronomy and Astronautics promoted by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation from Brazil where the scope for Indian students taking up an asteroid search campaign was discussed.”

“I have had the honour to make my presentation in the context and without any delay, I received the invite while the presentation was on with other guests who were from NASA and other prominent organisations,” she added.

In this presentation, I shared how science needs to be opened up for citizens and how it needs to be promoted via storytelling, workshops, events and a multidisciplinary approach, Mugdha told IANS.

She mentioned about the astro night sky tourism announced in Rajasthan for all 33 districts and said that many states are now keen to launch it following in the footsteps of the desert state.

Soon after her presentation, Patrick Miller, professor of mathematics who teaches introductory astronomy and astronomical research methods at Hardin-Simmons and is the founder of the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC), wrote to Mugdha to explore the opportunities for developing collaborations between Brazil and India so that a new venue can be opened for students to interact via the Internet.

“Perhaps, we can set up joint teams in IASC for a joint India- Brazil asteroid search campaign,” he said in his mail.

Mugdha said we will soon take the discussion forward to ensure our students take the lead and make a mark globally via this initiative.

Rajasthan is the first state working with the International Astronomical Search Collaboration which is run in collaboration with NASA.

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