Aryan has been very busy in the last few months hosting live astronomy talks with young students across the globe. I was curious and asked him “Well, how and why did you discover an asteroid anyway?” Here is Aryan’s answer in his own words:
A large group of material bodies traveling in space is the Asteroids, also called Planetoids. They orbit between a broad zone of Mars and Jupiter. Asteroids consist of pieces of rocks and broken up pieces of planets. Most of them are too small to be seen from Earth, only four asteroids can be seen with a small telescope. These are named Ceres, Pallas, Vesta and Juno. There are small asteroids and Trojan asteroids. The asteroid that I've discovered is small one which is between Mars and Jupiter.
But how do you find an Asteroid?
Finding an object which is not visible and doesn't reflect much light is not simple. So, we need a big observatory to find it and a large range of telescopes. I used them to find an asteroid, they are 24, 50, 52 inch telescopes which are located in Arizona, USA.
Okay, we got about the telescope, after that what to do? Now, we have to find that part of the sky where we can find new objects. After finding a suitable place now we can click the image of that part but CCD imaging, like time lapse video.
After doing a lot work now we can find an asteroid but how?
The software which I have used to find an asteroid is called Astrometrica, which was under licensed by the International Astronomical Search Collaboration, USA, where the images were sent by Dr. Patrick Miller, Director, IASC. I was using the images in Astrometrica. There are possibly some objects in a particular image so I have to make reports on that then email it to Dr. Miller. If any new object is found then its a provisional discovery. If it is discovered then its a Near Earth Object (NEO) observation which is helpful information because it shows the asteroid is alive which means the asteroid is still in solar system.
Why did I want to find an asteroid?
It is all about Astronomy. We should discover the cosmos. Finding asteroids is really important for the solar system because 65 million years ago one struck the planet and dinosaurs left the Earth. They weren’t as intelligent as we are and had no way of knowing and protecting themselves. We do have the brains to save ourselves, but if we don’t use it we are not able to survive on Earth. So, lets Discover the Cosmos”
Neil deGrasse Tyson has said: “Asteroids have us in our sight. The dinosaurs didn't have a space program, so they're not here to talk about this problem. We are, and we have the power to do something about it. I don't want to be the embarrassment of the galaxy, to have had the power to deflect an asteroid, and then not, and end up going extinct.”