Press Release Archive 2011 - 1999

College of Idaho team discovers new asteroid

2010. 10. 22.

College of Idaho students Patricia Randazzo, Marissa Rider, Russell Hutchins and Edith Dull – in collaboration with the Astronomical Research Institute – have discovered a new Main Belt asteroid that has been designated 2010 RV70. The September 4 discovery has been submitted to the Minor Planet Center and will be added to observational surveys in order to better define its orbit over the next five to ten years. At that time, the observers will be able to name the asteroid.

This team of students is part of The College of Idaho asteroid research team working under Dr. James Dull, a professor of physics at C of I, in partnership with the International Asteroid Search Collaboration.

“(The discovery) gives the school international recognition in the area of minor planet research,” Dull said. “It also tells the wider community that we may be small, but we can still make important contributions to many areas of astronomy.”

In addition to discovering the asteroid, the C of I team has also verified the orbits of two near-earth orbit asteroids (NEOs), which the Minor Planet Center uses to determine orbits and assess risk of impact with earth.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state's oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including seven Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another ten Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three undergraduate minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.