Africa Asteroid Search Campaign May 17/June 30
(Team Ethiopia)

Project Description

IASC-All African Asteroid Search Campaign (May 17/June 30)

The campaign is run via the Internet so your schools will need to have high speed Internet connections.  They also need PC-based computers, and not MAC. Four slots for your Ethiopian schools in the May 17 - June 30, 2009 campaign. 

The first step is to download the software Astrometrica, get it up and running on the schools' computers, and then train the teachers.  In order for the students to be successful, their teachers need to be good at using Astrometrica, distinguishing between a true and false signature of a moving asteroid, and be able to produce a clean and accurate MPC report.

During a 45-day campaign, each school has its own folder that they access off the IASC web site located at  In that folder will be a zipped set of three images take of the same field of view and same object over a period of an hour or less.  The students unzip the images then use Astrometrica in an automated and manual mode to search for moving objects.  They have 48 hours to complete the analysis.

The software produces a formatted report that the teacher sends directly via email to me here at Hardin-Simmons University.  We run some QC checks on the data and then forward them to the ARI Observatory for final processing to then be presented to the Minor Planet Center (Harvard).

We are currently running the All-China Asteroid Search Campaign in coordination with the National Astronomical Observatory of China (Beijing).  You might go to the IASC site and see how this is structured.  It's very simple, actually.  The only thing that is different is that image sets are prepared in a single folder, and the contacts in Beijing make the individual assignments with the 14 participating schools...this really works the best given that most of the teachers from the participating schools are not conversant in English nor are my staff and I in Chinese.

The key to the success of the students in making original asteroid discoveries and important NEO observational measurements is a teacher well-verse in the use of Astrometrica.  The software, installation instructions, instructions on how to identify asteroids, and practice image sets are all available for download at
Google Groups
Africa Space Science and Astronomy Network
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Participating Schools


Bishoftou Preparatory (Bishoftu)
Hawas High School (Adama)
Saint Joseph (Addis Ababa)
Adama University (Adama)
Addis Ababa University (AAU)

Schools on Standby

AASDO Schools (Assella)
Mekele Schools (Mekele)
Bahir Dar Schools (Bahir Dar)

South Africa

North Carolina Schools

Space Africa

African Scientific Network

Updated: Mar 15, 2007