Do you need to be a rocket scientist to make an extraterrestrial discovery? Well, these 14yo Surat girls discovered an asteroid close to Earth, says no. Two girls Vaidehi Vekariya Sanjaybhai and Radhika Lakhani Prafulbha was a part of a 2-month science program being held at their CBSE school and hence discovered the asteroid.
The photo of the asteroid was captured by a key astronomical telescope in Hawaii, but it was these two 10th graders who identified the asteroid before anyone else. Part of All India Asteroid Search Campaign 2020, the program is conducted by SPACE India in partnership with a NASA-affiliated citizen scientist group called the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC).
The asteroid spotted by the girls is temporarily named HLV2514. But it wasn't an easy task. The duo used special software to examine the images taken by Panoramic Survey Telescope and Rapid Response System (Pan-STARRS) telescope in Hawaii. They discovered the asteroid in June, and the girls recently received an email from NASA confirming their claims.
The asteroid is categorized as a Near-Earth object because of its proximity to our planet.