Indian students have discovered an asteroid heading towards Earth

Indian students have discovered an asteroid heading towards Earth

Not to belittle students, no matter how young they are, is a lesson that many societies, if not all, have pending. These two young students from India have shown that a good education program works wonders and has given them the opportunity to make a great scientific discovery. 

Radhika Lakhani and Vaidehi Vekariya have found an asteroid that will be dangerously close to Earth. They have baptized it as  HLV2514 , an asteroid that will end up changing its orbit towards us in a long time, we should not worry about it for now, but it is an important fact. 

The two students have managed to find this asteroid thanks to a project by Space India and NASA, which offers students to analyze images taken by one of the telescopes at the University of Hawaii . In this training program, students are taught to detect celestial bodies using software that analyzes images collected by NASA’s PAN Star telescope .

Two 14-year-olds from Surat, Gujarat have discovered a near-Earth asteroid in images taken by the @ PanSTARRS1 telescope in Hawaii, during a @Spacian training program.
The International Astronomical Search Collaboration has verified their discovery. – Tech2 (@ tech2eets)July 28, 2020

We started the project in June and sent 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 ,” Vekariya, 15, told CNN. The project aims to promote science and astronomy among the new generations of the country.

NASA takes asteroids very seriously , they are developing, in conjunction with the European Space Agency (ESA), a protocol for action in the vicinity of a dangerous asteroid. HLV2514 still has many years to be relatively close. 

This asteroid is currently close to the orbit of Mars, according to calculations, within 1 million years it will change its orbit and get closer to Earth , although at that time it will continue to be at a distance that is equivalent to 10 times the distance between the Earth and the Moon.

It may seem too far away to worry, but this advantage allows astronomers to closely monitor these celestial bodies and be able to prepare for a mission to save Earth from possible impact. 

Vaidehi Vekariya affirms that after the success of his work he plans to become an older astronomer. ” It is such a vast subject. There is no limit to search in space, especially the theory of the black hole, ” he assured. 

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