It is second year in a row that the students of Shri Natesan Vidyasala, Mannivakkam, are successful in making a preliminary discovery of a main belt asteroid in the All Indian Asteroid Search Campaign 2012. This programme is a joint venture of Science Popularisation Association for Communicator and Educator (SPACE) and International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) – NASA, USA.
Appreciations are pouring in from many quarters to the trio V. Srivathsan, K. Sivanesh and R. Sriram Kumar and the teacher guide Anandhi Mani, with SPACE group CMD, Sachin Bahmba congratulating, “After doing stupendous efforts for days, it is an achievement that you have truly earned. I congratulate you on your success and wish you all the best for your future .Well done and keep preparing yourselves as you are future torch bearers of the scientific temper.”
During the felicitation function organised recently at the school, Founder of the school, N. Ramasubramanyan, lauded the efforts of the students and the teacher and handed over the certificates and awards in the presence of the Principal, Gayathri Ramachandran.
With over 78 schools and amateur astronomy organisations participating from different parts of the country, this team is the only one to achieve this rare feat from Tamil Nadu. Students were into a month-long project to search for Main Belt Asteroids using astronomical software and submit the reports within 24 hours. The students had been successful in making one preliminary discovery (TOV6JN) and 10 NEO (Near Earth Object) observations. The data submitted by the students will be a part of International Astronomical Observation database for tracking the path of Asteroids. It is also worth mentioning that the school had a preliminary discovery (TOV4A9) during 2010-11 campaign.
Apart from being a SPACE Nodal Centre, the school also had been initiating awareness programmes for parents, students and general public on Astronomy by way of conducting workshops, inter and intra-school competitions, eclipse watch and night sky watch programme at school.