Curitiba student discovers new asteroid in NASA project | Paraná

At the age of 17, Nathan Lins de Andrade is a third-year high school student at a private school in Curitiba and has a great achievement to tell: discovered an asteroid.

The finding came through NASA’s International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) project. The asteroid was identified by the student in the images collected by the PANSTARRS 1 telescope in Hawaii in February 2020, but confirmation was only made in March of this year.

Asteroids are rocky bodies, with no defined shape, that orbit through space.

Nathan discovered the asteroid through the International Collaboration on Astronomical Search (IASC) project — Photo: Divulgação/Colégio Vicentino São José

In recognition, Nathan will be able to name the asteroid. The student tells that the chosen name was Ita Koywy, which means “Universal Rock” in Guarani.

“I chose this name that, in addition to Rocha Universal, something for everyone, would also be to enhance the Guarani language, something from our beginnings”, Nathan highlighted.

The student participates in a study group at the school. — Photo: Reproduction/RPC

Passionate about science, the student participates in a study group on the subject and this year he was also a gold medalist at the Brazilian Astronomy and Astronautics Olympiad (OBA).

Paraná State College seeks to encourage students through the Astronomical Observatory. — Photo: Publicity/State College of Paraná

For Amauri José da Luz Pereira, coordinator of the Astronomical and Planetary Observatory at Colégio Estadual do Paraná, early interest in the subject may be an investment for the future.

“Students who earn medals in knowledge olympics like this one also make up their student, academic and professional curriculum. This can be used in scholarship, undergraduate and graduate programs in the future,” said the professor.

According to Amauri, the Colégio Estadual do Paraná (CEP) strives to train young people who are enthusiastic about the topic. To stimulate students’ curiosity, the school has an Astronomical Observatory in rural Curitiba, used before the pandemic to carry out practical activities.

Erán Martínes Ramos, 14, is a student at the CEP and also a gold medalist at the Brazilian Astronomy and Astronautics Olympiad. He says that the school’s encouragement is fundamental and that he plans to continue studying astronomy in order to become an astronaut.

“Outside the earth there are many beautiful and curious things to be discovered. This is one of the facts for which I like astronomy. For discovery, to find new forms of life, new questions, and I will try to answer them”, said Erán .

Erán Martínes Ramos and professor Amauri José da Luz Pereira. — Photo: Disclosure/SEED

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