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. Vaidehi Vekariya says that she is looking forward to getting a chance to name the asteroid.
- 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).
- 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.