In a moment of pride for India, two girls from Gujarat’s Surat have discovered an Earth-bound asteroid ‘HLV2514′ which is expected to pass our planet in the near future. The asteroid is presently near Mars and its orbit is expected to cross that of Earth in about one million years’ time, according to SPACE India. Also Read - Biggest Asteroid of 2020 Flew Between Earth & Moon Undetected, Scientists Realised It 2 Days Later!
Students of Class 10 at Surat’s PP Savani Chaitanya Vidya Sankul, Vaidehi Vekariya Sanjaybhai and Radhika Lakhani Prafulbhai, discovered the object as part of an asteroid search campaign conducted by SPACE India along with the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC), a NASA-affiliated citizen scientist group.
During this two-month-long project, the images of the asteroid were taken by Pan Starrs telescope in Hawaii and students used advanced software and techniques to look for asteroids.
It is then that the two girls stumbled upon the asteroid, after analysing the images, which was confirmed by the IASC Director J Patrick Miller. As per a TOI report, NASA acknowledged the girls’ rare asteroid discovery and sent a confirmation mail.
The asteroid, which is currently called HLV2514, may be officially christened only after NASA confirms its orbit, a SPACE India spokeswoman said.
Vaidehi told Reuters that she is looking forward to the opportunity to name the asteroid and she wants to become an astronaut. Meanwhile, Radhika was quoted in the report as saying that she was working hard on her education and she doesn’t even have a TV at home so that she can concentrate on her studies.