Two schoolgirls from Gujarat, Radhika Lakhani and Vaidehi Vekariya, have discovered an asteroid that will pass the Earth in the near future. Yes, you can go back and read that again. And we aren’t saying this, NASA has confirmed their findings. The asteroid is slowly shifting its orbit and moving toward Earth.
Radhika and Vaidehi, students of class 10 in Surat have been keeping busy and working on a science project. The girls had taken part in a project by Space India in collaboration with NASA that gives students a chance to analyse images taken from the Pan STARRS ( Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System), an advanced telescope positioned at the University of Hawaii. They made the discovery in June.
Space India recently took to Twitter and announced the amazing work that these two girls did.
We are proud to announce VAIDEHI VEKARIYA SANJAYBHAI and RADHIKA LAKHANI PRAFULBHAI, two students of P.P. SAVANI CHAITANYA VIDYA SANKUL (CBSE) from Surat with the help of SPACE-AIASC discovered a new Asteroid which is a Near-Earth Object named HLV2514. pic.twitter.com/HXpOvrwxNY
— SPACE India (@Spacian) July 25, 2020
Radhika and Vaidehi named the asteroid as HLV2514. However, it will be officially christened only after NASA confirms its orbit. The IASC (International Astronomical Search Collaboration), however, confirmed this successful discovery. According to them, this asteroid is currently near Mars and its orbit is expected to cross that of Earth in one million years.
“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 said in an interview with a publication.
“This was a dream. I want to become an astronaut. It is such a vast topic. There is no limit to search in space, especially the black hole theory,” she added. Meanwhile, Radhika said that she has been working very hard on her studies and does not even have a TV at home to help her concentrate.
Vaidehi and Radhika have been working on this project for over two months now. Not even the pandemic could stop them from achieving this feat! Keep at it girls, you’ve made us very proud.
Featured Image: Twitter