Sun, May 29, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Taiwanese students find asteroids in competition

Staff Writer, with CNA

A team of Taiwanese high-school students discovered four of the 22 asteroids that were found during an asteroid search campaign organized by the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC), an official from National Central University said on Thursday.

The team of Taiwanese students made the discoveries in this year’s Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) Asteroid Search Campaign, held from March 28 to May 13. Thirty-two schools from seven countries participated in the program.

Chen Wen-ping (陳文屏), director of the Pan-STARRS program in Taiwan and an astronomy professor at National Central University, said the 22 asteroids have received -provisional sequential numbers that are assigned to an asteroid when its orbit has been sufficiently determined.

The number is usually superseded by a permanent designation once a reliable orbit has been identified.

The asteroids were discovered by analyzing images from the Pan-STARRS, an array of advanced equipment used to detect asteroids, stars and other celestial objects, Chen said.

He added that the Taiwanese team would have the right to name the four asteroids.

Teachers who served as mentors to the team members said the students were required to use software to analyze weekly images released by Pan-STARRS which had not been analyzed by scientists.

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