40 students from across Pakistan took part in the first All Pakistan Asteroid Search Campaign affiliated with NASA and the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC).
The inaugural All Pakistan Asteroid Search Campaign (APASC), which was run by students from the Institute of Space Technology, Islamabad, attracted 40 students from all across Pakistan.
Students were given data and detailed instructions on how to make asteroid discoveries. The All Pakistan Asteroid Search Campaign was organized in the country for the first time. The students got to work as NASA Citizen scientists.
From October 21 to November 15, 2022, researchers and students from high schools, colleges, and universities engaged in the month-long campaign as citizen scientists to find actual asteroids using data from telescopes in Hawaii.
The initiative was supported by NASA and the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC), which is in charge of organizing similar initiatives throughout the world to encourage young aspirant scientists to learn about and explore space.
These initiatives provide the participants the chance to experience what it is like to pick up new abilities, make genuine discoveries, and understand the value of teamwork in the scientific community. Along with diplomas with the NASA and IASC seals, the kids also get to give names to the asteroids they discover.
Through their year-long efforts to bring similar projects to Pakistan, Muhammad Rehmoz Salahuddin Ayub, Dilawaiz Saghir, Malik Nauman Rauf, and Faryal Batool of the Space Society IST brought this campaign to Pakistan and hosted it. Together with Nasir Rizwan of the Attock Astronomical Society, it was carried out.
“I participated along with 3 other team members in a similar campaign hosted from India back in 2021 where we made 5 original asteroid discoveries. Then we (our team) thought: why can’t we bring such a campaign to Pakistan? ”. According to a statement from Rehmoz.
“There are campaigns in IASC hosted by countries like India, Poland, and Bangladesh but never from Pakistan. Pakistan is by no means short of any talent or passion for space exploration. There is just a lack of opportunities which we vowed to present to 40 bright and passionate students from Pakistan absolutely free of charge.”