A Class 12 Bengaluru resident, Sahithi Pingali will soon have a minor planet in the Milky Way named after her. The student of Inventure Academy in Bengaluru Sahithi joins a group of elite people to have a planet named after them. She received the honour for her research work ‘on the specks of the froth of Bengaluru’s polluted lakes’. It is a part of her winning at the world’s largest pre-college science competition, Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF) in Los Angeles. Also Read - Another Earth? New Study Says There Could Be at Least 300 Million Potentially Habitable Worlds in Our Galaxy

Sahithi won the Gold Medal for her research on ‘An Innovative Crowdsourcing Approach to Monitoring Freshwater Bodies’ on Bengaluru’s lakes at ISWEEEP (The International Sustainable World Engineering Energy Environment Project) Olympiad held in Texas earlier this month. After her ISEF win, The Lincoln Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) decided to name a planet after her. The Laboratory which has the right to name minor planets made the decision after she came within the top 3% of ISEF. Also Read - Nobel Prize in Physics Jointly Awarded to Roger Penrose, Reinhard Genzel & Andrea Ghez For Black Hole Research

In addition to being placed overall second in the category Earth and Environmental Scienes, she also won three special awards at the INTEL ISEF finals. Pingali was also among 2000 finalists at the event which developed an integrated mobile phone app and lake monitoring kit which obtains data through crowdsourcing. She is currently working with PhD students and professors in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and also pursuing an internship at the University of Michigan. Sahithi won a scholarship from Inventure to participate in the American India Foundation (AIF) program in 2015. Ananya Vinay, Indian-origin student, wins Scripps National Spelling Bee 2017 Also Read - NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Maps Giant Halo Around Andromeda Galaxy; 'Space is Awesome', Says Twitter

Times of India quoted Sahithi as saying, “The interesting thing about my project is that it’s all about crowdsourcing; getting students and citizens to contribute scientific data. OLOV was the inspiration for this – it was the dedication and commitment of my team members at Inventure that convinced me that high school students were capable of gathering such reliable data while increasing their environmental awareness and knowledge of science. I hope students all over Bangalore will take this as a call for action to adopt lakes and lead the way for the rest of the world.” (Image- Inventure Academy Facebook page)