Vaidehi Vekariya Sanjaybhai and Radhika Lakhani Prafulbha, two class 10 students from Gujarat’s Surat, have jointly discovered a near-Earth asteroid, named as HLV2514 by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). This new asteroid is expected to pass the earth in the near future, NASA has confirmed their findings.

The schoolgirls have been keeping busy for two months straight for a science programme called the ‘All India Asteroid Search Campaign 2020′. They participated in the programme as a part of a collaboration with International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) and Hardin Simmons University in Texas.

Vaidehi and Radhika are students of PP Savani Chaitanya Vidya Sankul and have been working jointly for an international campaign. They ended up discovering the asteroid near the planet Mars. Soon after the programme organiser Space India revealed the success of the discovery, NASA acknowledged their feat, as per Times of India.

What You Should Know

  • Two Surat girls -Vaidehi and Radhika, have discovered a near-Earth asteroid, named HLV2514 by NASA.
  • Both the girls are studying in PP Savani Chaitanya Vidya Sankul in Class 10.
  • They discovered the asteroid as a part of an international campaign.
  • They found the asteroid near the planet Mars.

Vaidehi and Radhika have reportedly used the Pan STARRS ( Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System) advanced telescope in Hawaii to take the images of the asteroid.

“We had tagged around 20 objects of which this one proved lucky.We have given it a random name at present, and we may get an opportunity to name the astroid once its orbit is confirmed by NASA. It may, however, take a few years’ time,” the two girls told TOI.

Space India posted an alert on Facebook about the discovery. “We are proud to announce that two girls from Surat with the help of SPACE-All India Asteroid Search Campaign discovered a new Asteroid which is a Near-Earth Object,” it stated.

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“It is a near-Earth object (NEO) which is currently near the planet Mars, and over time (~10^6 years) will evolve into an Earth-crossing asteroid,” the post said about asteroid HLV2514.

Hats off to the girls who are setting goals for the rest of us, even under COVID-19 situation.

Feature Image Credit: Space India

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