Canarian students discover almost 300 unidentified asteroids

Students of Canary Islands educational centers have discovered new asteroids of the main belt that orbit between Mars and Jupiter, findings that are still classified as provisional, the Ministry of Education has reported.

Asteroid detection is part of the Asteroid Hunters in the Canary Islands project, coordinated by the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC).

The asteroid discoverers they used the images provided by the Pan-STARRS telescopes, located in Hawaii.

During this school year, 34 public centers in the Canary Islands have signed up for the project.

In the last edition, some seven hundred sets of images were analyzed and the students discovered 295 unidentified asteroids, so far in the preliminary phase.

The detection of asteroids passes a preliminary phase that corresponds to the first observation of a celestial body not previously cataloged, which must be observed a second time in the following months.

If confirmed, the Minor Planet Center (MPC) qualifies the find as “provisional” and gives the asteroid a name consisting of the year of discovery followed by an alphanumeric code.

Temporary-rated asteroid discoveries are kept in the MPC database until there are a sufficient number of observations to fully determine their orbit.

In general, most provisional asteroids are usually confirmed as “official” asteroids, at which point they can be given a proper name at the discretion of the discoverers, following the rules of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

This confirmation process by the UAI usually takes six to ten years.

Provisional asteroids have been discovered by students from the educational centers CEIP Utiaca (2021 DA12), Fernando León y Castillo (2021 JM30), CEPA Santa Cruz de Tenerife (2021 ER36 and 2021 EP10), IES Cabo Blanco (2021 DJ11), Marina Cebrián (2021 DU6 and 2021 GO52), Canarias Cabrera Pinto (2021 FH14), Daute-Los Silos (2021 FW30 and 2021 EM31), Guillermina Brito (2021 GG93 and 2021 JQ54) and Politécnico Las Palmas (2021 GR69).

Disclaimer: If you need to update/edit/remove this news or article then please contact our support team Learn more