The story of how a student from the University of Santiago discovered a new asteroid

an asteroidin a simple definition, is a rocky (celestial) body, and its size is smaller than a planet and larger than a meteoroid, which are assumed to be small pieces of rock that were distributed through space when the planets formed.

The monitoring of the sector where these celestial bodies orbit is very important because even though they are smaller than a planet, being very heavy and moving at high speeds, exists the risk of them impacting a planet like Earth.

On August 30 of this year, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) confirmed the existence of a new asteroida discovery in which the Astrophysics student with a mention in Data Science at the University of SantiagoAmirah Luna Izidine.

the asteroid It doesn’t have an official name yet. “We will have the privilege of naming him later. For now, they call it 2021 TK43″, explains the student from Mozambique, who participated in the work to reach the discovery and report it in October last year.

The young woman explains that in 2021, participated in the IASC asteroid search project (International Astronomical Search Collaboration) through his team, ‘Detectives do cosmos’, using Astrometric software, which processes images taken by two telescopes in Hawaii.

“It is the first discovery of an asteroid made exclusively by Mozambique. It is only the beginning of many more discoveries and a motivation to invite more Mozambicans to participate in this search and to raise our flag”, highlighted the student.

Edson Jequecene, Nunes Assamo, Humberto Tandane, and Amirah Luna Izidine. Members of the group that discovered the new asteroid recognized by NASA.

Asteroids, like the new discovery, are typically found between Mars and Jupiter, in a region of the solar system called Main Asteroid Belt.

However, so far the rocky body discovered in October 2022 by the Usach student does not have as much information since, although it has already been confirmed by the Space Agency, the analysis takes many months.

Amirah Luna Izidine.

Amirah Luna Izidine, with a Mozambican father and an Ecuadorian mother, who has loved astronomy since she was 12 years old, for the same reason that she has for many years found out which were the best countries to study this career.

In the end, he chose Chile “because of the good education in astronomy, the job opportunities, the climate, the Atacama desert that allows for the cleanest skies in the world,” he says.

In addition, our country has some of the most observatories in the world “and in a few years a large percentage of astronomical studies will be concentrated in Chile,” he adds.

Likewise, he defines his career experience as motivating, where he has been able to learn a lot and develop his skills, “meeting professionals in my area and being inspired by them. Secondly, It has also been a challenge, as I am a newcomer to the country and entered an entirely new career. In general, I would say that it has been a quite unique and enriching experience, both on a human and student level”, he concluded.

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