Two Surat Class X girls have discovered an Earth-bound asteroid now christened as 'HLV2514'. The new asteroid is expected to pass the Earth in the near future.
Vaidehi Vekariya Sanjaybhai and Radhika Lakhani Prafulbhai, studying in Surat's PP Savani Chaitanya Vidya Sankul, participated in an International science programme called ‘All India Asteroid Search Campaign 2020’, conducted by SPACE India in collaboration with International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) and Hardin Simmons University, Texas.
According to the training institute, SPACE where the two girls train for astronomical studies, NASA has sent a mail about the new discovery made by the duo.
In an email to SPACE, the IASC director, Dr Patrick Miller stated that, " In the last campaign, your team reported HLV2514 as a new asteroid. It is, in fact, a near-Earth object (NEO). This NEO is near the planet Mars, and over time (~10^6 years) evolve into an Earth-crossing asteroid. Mars-crossing asteroids are called Apollos. Congratulations."
A professor of Mathematics at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene in Texas said that the two girls are happy over not only with their new discovery but also at being recognised.
The two girls speaking to a news website said that they had tagged around 20 objects of which, this one proved lucky. They further added that they have given a random name to the asteroid and may get a chance to name it once its orbit is confirmed by the space agency, NASA.
Akash Dwivedi educator at SPACE said that, "It is the first time in Gujarat and after four years in the country that an asteroid has been discovered."