The Official Student Newspaper of Calvin College Since 1907
January 18, 2008
Volume 102, Issue 16
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Racine students discover asteroid with Calvin’s telescope

Calvin’s remotely operated telescope in Rehoboth, used for the past few years by astronomy students here for asteroid discovery, has now brought similar stardom to a group of high school sophomores in Racine, Wis., according to WISN (the Milwaukee ABC affiliate).

“It’s extremely rare and I don’t know if an asteroid has ever been discovered by high school students before,” said science teacher Andrew Vanden Heuvel. “Ninety-nine percent are discovered by professional researchers.”

The three students involved were notified Monday and will be able to name the asteroid (temporarily designated 2008 AZ28) in about four years.

This seems an appropriate project for Vanden Heuvel’s class, as he is the former “Golden Boy” of Calvin’s Physics and Astronomy Department. On Sept. 5, 2003 he discovered the first asteroid found from Calvin’s campus using the then-new observatory dome telescope. That asteroid was also among the first of Calvin’s host of discoveries to receive an official name and designation from the Minor Planet Center: 128177 Griffioen.

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