A new Earth-bound asteroid has been discovered by two school girls from Surat, Gujarat. According to SPACE India, the girls discovered the asteroid by poring through images from a University of Hawaii telescope. Both the girls — Vaidehi Vekariya and Radhika Lakhani — aged 14 have received training from SPACE India, a private Space institute.
Both the girls used specialised software for analysing the images taken by the Pan-STARRS telescope. The discovery was made back in June.
The asteroid called HLV2514 is near Mars. It will officially be christened after NASA confirms its orbit, a SPACE India spokeswoman told Reuters. Vaidehi Vekariya says that she is looking forward to getting a chance to name the asteroid. She also adds that she wants to become an astronaut as a professional.
We are proud to announce VAIDEHI VEKARIYA SANJAYBHAI and RADHIKA LAKHANI PRAFULBHAI, two students of P.P. SAVANI CHAITANYA VIDYA SANKUL (CBSE) from Surat with the help of SPACE-AIASC discovered a new Asteroid which is a Near-Earth Object named HLV2514. pic.twitter.com/HXpOvrwxNY
— SPACE India (@Spacian) July 25, 2020
Both the girls discovered the asteroid as part of an asteroid search campaign, which was conducted by SPACE India in collaboration with the NASA-affiliated citizen scientist group, International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC).
IASC Director J Patrick Miller confirmed the discovery made by the girls according to an email seen by Reuters.
Asteroids and comets pose big threat to the Earth. In 2013, an asteroid weighing more than the Eiffel Tower exploded over central Russia, injuring over 1,000 people with its shockwave. Scientists discover thousands of asteroids and comets every passing year, but the HLV2514 is not a threat. The asteroid is currently orbiting near Mars and will take around a million years to cross into the orbit of Earth.
Many asteroids crash into each other and become small in size. And many of them even enter the Earth’s atmosphere, however, burn up completely mid-flight, due to the friction.
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