April 8 - May 6, 2018 - applications now closed.

IASCimage200xAstronomers Without Borders and IASC are sponsoring a special asteroid search campaign as part of Global Astronomy Month (GAM2018) in April. Thirty schools and teams from around the world will be selected to participate in this campaign, which takes place from 8 April to 6 May, 2018. Applications close 20 March; please fill out the form at the bottom of the page to apply.

The International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC=”Isaac”) is an online educational outreach program for high schools and colleges, in which students make original astronomical discoveries. Each day students receive telescopic images, only hours old and taken along the ecliptic. Using the software Astrometrica, they accurately measure the time and position of asteroids moving in the background. The measurements are recorded in a report sent to IASC. Schools and teams are selected to participate based primarily on a one-paragraph description of the reasons the teacher and students would like to participate. To allow for geographic diversity in this special GAM2018 global project, no more than one school will be selected from any country. There is no cost to the students or schools. 

Weather permitting, each school receives 20 unique sets of images during the campaign. Students download each image set and search them for asteroids just hours after they have been taken along the celestial ecliptic at the University of Hawaii (Pan-STARRS).  Students use Astrometrica software, with IASC teachers who have participated in asteroid search campaigns available through the website to answer questions by email and help with learning the software.

Each year 1000 teams participate from more than 80 countries. Since starting in October 2006, over 1500 asteroids have been discovered, of which 45 have been numbered by the International Astronomical Union (Paris). Numbered asteroids are recorded in the world’s official minor planet catalog and can be named by their student discoverers.

Iran TeamLeaders of the Iranian teams in the All-Iran Asteroid Search Campaign

Note: Even if your school is not selected to participate in this special GAM2017 project, it may still be able to participate in any of the 20 or more other asteroid search campaigns IASC organizes throughout the year.

Download asteroid orbital paths to swell print for the visually impaired from the SEE Project.

Share your experience with the world on Facebook and Tweet using #GAM2018 hashtag (@gam_awb).