Bandar Seri Begawan โ€“ A total of 35 new preliminary asteroids were discovered by groups of citizen scientist from Brunei Darussalam as part of an International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) Programme, a National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) affiliated programme.

From September until October, six Bruneian groups comprise of 30 members (see participants list here) were working under IASC Asteroid Search Campaign co-organized by the Nepal Astronomical Society (NASO) and the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD).

Above: Md. Aminul Izzat bin Md. Asri, one of the Team Hulubalang Brunei team members, spending nearly one-two hours each day to hunt for asteroids and report their findings to IASC.

During the campaign, participants from Brunei and around the world 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 study which can take up to 5 years to define the asteroidsโ€™ orbit by professional astronomers.

Above: All-Brunei Darussalam Asteroid Search Campaign co-assistant project manager, Md Qawiem bin Hj Md. Jamil, proudly showing off his appreciation e-certificate issued for his involvement in October International Asteroid Search Campaign by the organiser. A total of 10 initial findings from his PABD team were registered objects P11jXNu, P11jWV5, P11k5hr, P11kxXZ, P11kIVU, P11m9qB, P11m9pu, P11m9mZ, P11m9gW and P11mJ1o. All the discoverers received Participation Certificates from IASC and NASA for their scientific contribution in discovering asteroids.

The preliminary asteroid detections by the six Bruneian teams โ€“ the Astronomical Society of Brunei (PABD), Hulubalang Brunei, Laksamana Brunei, Panglima Brunei, Pateh Brunei and Semaun Brunei – were confirmed in reports produced by IASC, Hardin-Simmons University, on Thursday, November 04, 2021 (see reports here).

The campaign offers opportunity for people in Brunei to discover new asteroids. It serves to promote scientific research by working on the real time data collected by astronomical observatories to detect any new asteroids.

Next year, PABD will organize the first All-Brunei Darussalam Asteroid Search campaign in collaboration with IASC which will commence from January. It will run regularly and open for citizen scientists and students to enable the discovery and tracking of more asteroids.

This way, it also inspires a growing interest for science amongst our community especially our students.

For more information and registration of the asteroid search campaign: www.bruneiastronomy.org/asteroidsearch

Above: A partial list of preliminary asteroid detections in a recent report by the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC), Hardin-Simmons University, for Asteroid Search Campaign in October.

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