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India’s research impresses NASA scientist

India’s research impresses NASA scientist

13 Nov 2017 No comment 8 hits

Panaji: Amateur astronomers in Goa have the potential to study near earth asteroids (NEA), said National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) astronomer Henry Throop, who is involved with the New Horizon's mission to Pluto. He was in Goa as part of the Story of Space festival and visited the public astronomical observatory at Junta House, run by the association of friends of astronomy (AFA).

"Goa has a very amateur astronomy society in the name of AFA but it's doing really well. They could grow and do more research if they set up a bigger telescope, perhaps outside of Panaji to observe space," he said.

Throop added that even if AFA could not pull in the funds to install a massive telescope, research can be done with available resources and help the association grow.

"They could study asteroids that could impact the Earth. That can be done with even a small and modest telescope. Near earth asteroid (NEA) can be studied and researched even by amateurs at the AFA," he said.

He spoke to children visiting the observatory about the Pluto mission. "We launched the satellite in 2006 and it passed by Pluto in 2015. We explored it and it sent back thousands of pictures of Pluto's surface," Throop said.

He also visited the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) in Vasco and commended the research being done there. "It's neat to see India involved in so much global science. Not many can study an active Antarctic base and contribute to world research. It's really inspiring to see such an institute in Goa and scientists of such high repute," he said.

Speaking about the interdisciplinary festival, Story of Space, Throop said, "Art and science blend together in a way most festivals don't. These two are both based on creativity and problem solving. Skills used in both these schools of thought are the same. The Story of Space is building connections between scientists and artists."


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