Two schoolgirls from Surat in Gujarat have discovered an Earth-bound asteroid
Two schoolgirls from Surat in Gujarat have discovered an Earth-bound asteroid, news agency Reuters reported today. It quoted SPACE India institute as saying that the teenage schoolgirls were able to discover the asteroids by poring through images from a University of Hawaii telescope.
SPACE India is a private institute where the two schoolgirls – Vaidehi Vekariya and Radhika Lakhani – (both aged 14) have received training.
Vaidehi said she is looking forward to the opportunity to name the asteroid and she wants to become an astronaut after growing up. Radhika was quoted in the report as saying that she was working hard in her education. Both of them are from Surat. They discovered the asteroid as part of an asteroid search campaign conducted by SPACE India along with International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC), which is a NASA-affiliated citizen scientist group.
As per the report, the asteroid is currently near Mars and its orbit is expected to cross that of Earth in about 1 million years.
The asteroid is currently called HLV2514. It may be officially named only after NASA confirms its orbit, the report quoted a SPACE India spokesperson as saying.
The report further said that IASC director J Patrick Miller has confirmed the discovery of the asteroid by Vaidehi and Radhika. They had used specialised software to analyse the photographs taken by Pan-STARRS telescope in Hawaii. The discovery was made in June.