Two Indian schoolgirls, Radhika Lakhani and Vaidehi Vekaria from Gujrat, discovered an asteroid, which was slowly moving towards the Earth.
The asteroid in question is going to have its orbit, which will eventually cause it to cross paths with our planet potentially. Asteroids are small rocky objects that usually orbit the sun, but can change their course over time.
Students from Gujrat spot an asteroid
The 10th-grade students Radhika Lakhani and Vaidehi Vekaria stumbled upon the asteroid in the middle of a school project. He then named the asteroid HLC2514.
Student Vekaria shared that “It was a dream, “but they can’t celebrate it due to ongoing causes of the epidemic.
We started the project in June, and we sent back our analysis a few weeks ago to NASA. On July 23, they sent us an email confirming that we had identified a near-Earth object.- Vaidehi Vekaria
Project by Space India and NASA
Both the students are located in Surat, a Gujarat city situated on the east coast of India. They were working on a project of space India and NASA. As part of this, students had access to telescope images from the University of Hawaii when they then analyzed.
The astronaut of Space India told in one of the channel’s interview that the girls were able to identify the body using software that analyzed images captured by NASA’s Pan Star Telescope.
The project of Space India and NASA was started this year only. Schoolgirls Radhika Lakhani and Vaidehi Vekaria were involved in it since the beginning, ie. June 2020. Details of observations were sent out to NASA after the analysis was over. Vekaria, 15, told CNN that on July 23, she received an email from NASA confirming that she had spotted an asteroid heading to Earth.
The girls were able to identify the object by going looking for moving objects in the images.
Currently, the asteroid is circling Mars and remains a threat to Earth. However, in more than a million years, it will take closer to Earth. While it may not cause any damage to our planet, it remains a potential threat. The estimated distance between the asteroid and Earth will be ten times more than the distance between Earth and the Moon a million years from now.