International Astronomical Search Collaboration

Telescopes located in Hawaii and elsewhere continuously scan the sky in search of near-Earth asteroids – small, irregular, rocky objects left over from the formation of our solar system. The International Astronomical Search Collaboration project distributes fresh time-lapse images of the sky from these telescopes along with free software, and invites participants to hunt in the images for moving objects. These objects might be main belt asteroids, near-Earth objects, or trans-Neptunian objects. You could be the one who finds the next one!

Learn more and sign up using the register link.

Go to Project Website


Teams from schools (elementary through college) and community groups.







What you'll do

  • Sign up for a month-long campaign to get your data packet of four images.
  • Use the free Astrometrica software package to “flip” between your four images to identify objects that are moving across the background of stars.
  • Advanced users can access a wide range of image analysis tools.
  • Earn a certificate recognizing your contributions.


  • Time: Completing the tutorial takes about 2 hours. Campaigns typically last for one month.
  • Equipment: A Windows-compatible computer. You’ll download and run Astrometrica software, which is Windows-based.
  • Knowledge: None. A tutorial provides all instruction needed.

Get started!

  1. Visit the project website.  
  2. Click “Register.” Choose a campaign from the published schedule, choose a name for your team, and fill out the “Register for a Campaign” form.
  3. Download the Astrometrica software (Windows OS compatible) and develop your skills with the practice images while waiting for your campaign to begin!

Learn More

If you are impatient to look for asteroids, and if you age 18+, try the Daily Minor Planet project! There you’ll immediately join thousands of other people looking at fresh data from the Catalina Sky Survey.

Across a mottled field of white and grey pixels with occasional distinct black spots, one black spot is circled in red and labeled “BJ19377.” As the animation moves between the four sequential images, all the black spots but this red-circled black one stay still. The circled black spot tracks from right to left, crossing almost the whole width of the field in the course of the four images.
This timelapse shows the passage of an asteroid in IASC data as animated by the Astrometrica software. The images are inverted so that stars and light-reflecting objects appear black and space appears light grey. The red label “BJ19377” around the asteroid has been added for clarity. Astrometrica is a free software package created to assist IASC participants in “flipping” between the four images in their data packet to more easily identify objects that are moving across the background of stars.
Credit: IASC program
IASC text above a silhouette of a person looking up to the stars and a shooting start

Since 2006 IASC participants have found:

3,800 provisional asteroid detections 

120 numbered asteroids placed into the world’s official minor bodies catalog

1 Jupiter family comet

13,000+ preliminary detections of asteroids not previously identified by survey software

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Patrick Miller

IASC Director

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Cassidy Davis

IASC Coordinator

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Rose Horst

IASC Assistant Coordinator

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Luca Buzzi

IASC Astronomer (IDaRT)

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Tomas Vorobjov

IASC Astronomer (Head of IDaRT)

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Steve Hartung

IASC Astronomer (Image Processing)

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Raul Valadez

IASC Technical Assistant

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James Martin

IASC Astronomer

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Jeremy Wood

IASC Astronomer

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Carlton Pennypacker

Professional Advisor