Its a discovery of astronomical magnitude by two highschool students from India. An Indian space education institute said two teenage girls from India have discovered an Earth-bound asteroid by gazing through images from a University of Hawaii telescope.
According to SPACE India,The asteroid is presently near Mars and its orbit is expected to cross that of Earth in about one million years’ time, a private institute where the two 14-year-old girls received training.
Vaidehi Vekariya one of the students said “I look forward to... when we will get a chance to name the asteroid,” and also added that she wants to become an astronaut when she is older. According to a NASA spokesperson, the asteroid, currently called HLV2514, may be officially christened only after NASA confirms its orbit. The other student Radhika Lakhani, said her only focus is on education.
The two girls, are from Western India from Gujarat. International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC), a NASA-affiliated citizen scientist group focused on the object as part of an asteroid search campaign conducted by SPACE India.
IASC Director J. Patrick Miller notified the girls via email that made the discovery.
According to SPACE India, the highschool students used specialised software to analyse the images snapped by the Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii, and made the discovery in June.
The institute is among the few private space education initiatives in India, a country known for championing low-cost space technology that has spurred missions to the moon and Mars.
Photo courtesy of World Today