Charting the skies: Bruneians help detect new asteroids

  • Brunei
  • Friday, 05 Nov 2021

All-Brunei Darussalam Asteroid Search Campaign co-assistant project manager Md Qawiem Md Jamil with his e-certificate. - Borneo Bulletin/Asia News Network

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN (Borneo Bulletin/ANN): Six Bruneian groups, comprising 30 members, made discoveries of their lifetime when they detected 35 new asteroids under the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) Programme recently.

This was announced by the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) yesterday.

The citizen scientists were working under IASC Asteroid Search Campaign, co-organised by the Nepal Astronomical Society and PABD.

During the campaign, participants from Brunei and across the globe used an advanced astrometry software to analyse photographs and real sky data provided by the Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) telescope in Hawaii.

It involved observing the Near-Earth objects and Main Belts asteroids and reporting for unknown asteroid detections. Information from these preliminary findings will be further studied – which can take up to five years to define the asteroids’ orbit – by professional astronomers.

The preliminary asteroid detections by the six Bruneian teams – PABD, Hulubalang Brunei, Laksamana Brunei, Panglima Brunei, Pateh Brunei and Semaun Brunei – were confirmed in reports produced by IASC, Hardin-Simmons University, yesterday.

“We are very hopeful that some of these early detections of asteroids by Bruneians will come in the provisional discovery list of IASC,” said PABD secretary general Hazarry Ali Ahmad.

The campaign offers an opportunity for people in Brunei to discover new asteroids while promoting scientific research by working on real time data collected by astronomical observatories.

Hazarry, who is also the project manager for the Asteroid Search Campaign, encouraged more Bruneian to join the Citizen Science programme.

“PABD will organise the first All-Brunei Darussalam Asteroid Search campaign in collaboration with IASC next January onwards. It will run regularly and open for citizen scientists and students,” said Hazarry.

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Brunei , Astronomy


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