Arushi Nath

Toronto, Canada

Curriculum vitae

Founder (Grade 9 Student)

Arushi Nath

Toronto, Canada


Arushi Nath

Toronto, Canada

Curriculum vitae

Founder (Grade 9 Student)

European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) 2023 Second Prize Award,  Brussels

The 34th European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) was held in Brussels, Belgium. It brought together 136 promising young scientists aged 14 to 20, from 36 countries across the EU and beyond for a five-day competition.

I was honored to represent Canada as  Winner of 2023 Top Award at the 2023 Canada-Wide Science Fair.

My project "Developing Algorithms to Determine Asteroid's Physical Properties and Success of Deflection Missions" won the second prize. I was the youngest contestant and the prize winner.

It was a wonderful experience to interact, form friendships and partners with bright young scientists across the world.

More details about my project :  

Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) 2023 Best Project Award

Developing Algorithms to Determine Asteroid's Physical Properties and Success of Deflection Missions

The 2023 Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) organised by Youth Science Canada took place in Edmonton, Alberta, from May 14 to May 19, 2023. It brought together some 396 regional science fair finalists from 7th to 12th grade from across Canada.

My project "Developing algorithms to determine asteroid’s physical properties and success of deflection missionswon the 2023 Best Project Award of the Canada-Wide Science Fair (Innovation). I will now represent Canada at the European Union Contest for Young Scientists (EUCYS) in Brussels in September 2023.
In addition to the Best Project Award, I won 5 more awards:
  • Gold Medal
  • The Actuarial Foundation of Canada Award
  • Excellence in Astronomy Award from the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada
  • Top of the Category Award in Curiosity and Ingenuity
  • Youth Can Innovate Award
I also won the 2022 Best Project Award last year, becoming the first back-to-back best project award winner since 1989-1990 and the youngest ever to do so.

For more information on my project visit:

My Citizen Science Research for the NASA DART Mission and Learnings from the 2023 Planetary Defense Conference, UNOOSA, Vienna

The 8th Planetary Defense Conference was held at the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA) in Vienna, Austria, from 3 - 7 April 2023.

I was thrilled that my research abstract, "Citizen Science for NASA DART Mission: How I Used Robotic Telescopes, Open-Data, Python, and Maths to Study the Didymos System Before and After the Impact," was accepted as an in-person poster presentation at the Conference. Two years I gave an oral presentation of research on asteroid Apophis via webcam as the 2021  Planetary Defense Conference was held virtually.

This year I presented my citizen science work on planetary defense using robotic telescopes and open data, in particular on the characterization of Near-Earth Objects (NEOs) and measuring the impact of the NASA Double Asteroids Redirection Test (DART) Mission.

Read my blog post from from the Planetary Defense Conference 2023:

Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) 2023 Poster Presentation

(My Research Poster in 20 threaded tweets)
Strengthening Planetary Defense: Developing Algorithms to Determine the Physical Properties of Asteroids using Robotic Telescopes and Applying them to Measure the Impact of NASA’s DART Asteroid Deflection Mission

The pace of discovery of near-earth asteroids outpaces current abilities to analyze them. Knowledge of an asteroid's physical properties is essential to deflect them. I developed open-source algorithms that combine images from robotic telescopes and open data to determine asteroids' size, rotation, and strength. I took observations of the Didymos binary asteroid, and my algorithm determined it to be 850m wide, with a 2.26-hour rotation period and rubble pile strength. I measured a 35-minute decrease in the mutual orbital period after impact by the 2022 NASA DART Mission. External sources validated the findings. Every citizen scientist is now a planetary defender.

Publication: Finding Unknown Asteroids to Strengthen Planetary Defence

Arushi Nath. Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. Volume 117.  February 2023.

 The success of the NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) Mission in slamming a kinetic impactor on moonlet Dimorphos of asteroid Didymos on 2022 September 26 and changing its orbit has put the planetary defence on world news. The challenge of planetary defence intrigues me. Roughly 66 million years ago, an asteroid at least 10–kilometres wide may have led to the extinction of dinosaurs. If humans do not want to suffer the same fate, then we need to be well-informed and prepared to handle any threats of an asteroid colliding with Earth. Webinar: Asteroid Science with Remote Telescope with a focus on DART Mission

Citizen science and robotic telescopes have brought astronomy to everyone, from school kids to backyard astronomers and those staying in rural areas with dark skies to city dwellers living under a light cloud. For the past two years, Arushi Nath, age 13, has been using robotic telescopes, open datasets, python algorithms, and middle school maths to undertake research on near-earth asteroids. Astrometry-related observations helped her identify asteroids, provide information about their celestial location, and predict their future locations. Photometry involved taking images of the asteroid to find its magnitude. Longer observations yield a change in magnitude, which makes it possible to find the rotational period. For binary asteroids, she uses light curves to find the moonlet’s orbital period. As with all her research, she makes her datasets and methodology open source to reach out to other youths and citizen scientists.

Strengthening Planetary Defense: Detecting Unknown Asteroids using Open Data, Math, and Python

I took images from 4 telescopes located at different latitudes to get full sky coverage. I wrote Python algorithms to query European Space Agency’s GAIA and NASA’s Horizon sky catalogues to find all known stars and asteroids. Mean, standard deviation, and histograms created masks to remove known objects. The remaining objects were classified as possible asteroid candidates.
I detected 3 ‘preliminary’ asteroids. Using the telescope's focal length and celestial location, my algorithm’s plate-solving ability determined its Right Ascension and Declination. I reported this information by creating a Minor Planet Center report for my images. I have made my code and methodology open-source to crowdsource planetary defense.

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