News World Two Indian schoolgirls discover Earth-bound asteroid

Two Indian schoolgirls discover Earth-bound asteroid

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An asteroid discovered by two Indian schoolgirls is hurtling towards Earth.

But don’t worry!

The asteroid is currently near Mars and its orbit won’t cross Earth’s for another million years, so there’s no need for alarm.

The two 14-year-olds, who discovered the asteroid when poring over NASA photos, have been receiving training at SPACE India, a private institution.

“I look forward to … when we will get a chance to name the asteroid,” Vaidehi Vekariya told Reuters.

She wants to become an astronaut when she is older.

The asteroid is currently named HLV2514 but will only get an official christening once NASA confirms its orbit.

The other student, Radhika Lakhani Prafulbhai, said: “I don’t even have a TV at home, so that I can concentrate on my studies.”

Asteroids and comets pose a potential threat to Earth, and scientists discover thousands of them each year.

In 2013, an asteroid heavier than the Eiffel Tower exploded over central Russia, leaving more than 1000 people injured from its shockwave.

The two girls, who hail from the western Indian city of Surat, discovered the object as part of an asteroid search campaign conducted by SPACE India along with the International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC), a NASA-affiliated citizen scientist group.

with Reuters