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Two teenagers from India discovered an asteroid heading towards the Earth2 min read

December 29, 2020 2 min read


Two teenagers from India discovered an asteroid heading towards the Earth2 min read

Reading Time: 2 minutes

People born tens of million of years later will owe their lives to Vaidehi Vekariya and Radhika Lakhani for detecting an asteroid heading towards earth!

What is an asteroid?

Asteroids are the remnants left after the formation of a solar system. They are rocky and airless worlds that orbit around the sun.
Remember Bennu?

Vaidehi and Radhika are students of Class 10 from Surat who had participated in the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC). The IASC is a joint programme offered by NASA and SPACE India that allows students to observe and analyse images taken from a telescope stationed at the University of Hawaii.

Owliver’s Obscure Observations:
The Pan-STARRS telescope, stationed at the University of Hawaii, is the world’s largest and most powerful digital camera aimed in the direction of the sky. Its main task is to track down potentially dangerous space rocks moving towards Earth.

While observing one such image, Vaidehi and Radhika discovered the asteroid that they dubbed HLV2514.

The girls started their analysis in June and sent back their findings to NASA. On July 23, they received a confirmation that what they had discovered was a near-Earth object!

The official name of the asteroid will be reported after NASA determines its orbit.
Presently, the asteroid is orbiting near Mars but is shifting towards Earth.
But it will take a long time— around 1 million years before it gets closer to Earth. Even then, its distance will be at least 10 times the distance between the earth and the moon (384,400 km).

Vaidehi, who wants to become an astronaut, thinks of this moment as a dream come true!

Watch the stars talk about their celestial discovery!

Image courtesy Firstpost.

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