Two female students in India have discovered a new asteroid,media BGR reported. The two teenagers found the asteroid in images collected by telescopes in Hawaii. The asteroid is currently orbiting near Mars, but the orbit will change in about a million years and bring it close to Earth.
Vaidehi Vekariya and Radhika Lakhani, 14, have successfully found the asteroid, a scientifically labeled HLV2514 that will not venture near Earth for some time, but now it’s up to NASA to confirm its existence and its orbit.
Two students are studying at Space India, a private college that has access to a wealth of scientific resources, including images taken by Hawaii’s Panstar Telescope. Using the data, the two students discovered the asteroid, which, based on current understanding of its orbit, was heading toward Earth.
Like many asteroids that “visit” our planet from a safe distance, the asteroid is not expected to actually hit our planet when it “passes by” about a million years later. The space rock is currently orbiting near Mars, but will eventually cross the Earth’s orbit, although it may be about 10 times the distance from Earth and the moon. The asteroid will be considered a “near-Earth object” and placed on NASA’s watch list.
“We started the project in June, and a few weeks ago we sent the results back to NASA. On 23 July, they sent us an e-mail confirming that we had identified a NEO. Vekariya told CNN.
NASA monitors all NEOs with caution. When an object of a certain size is expected to pass through The Earth at a medium distance, it will plot its orbit, and then scientists will predict its future direction. Once NASA later confirms the asteroid’s existence and its orbit, students may have a chance to give it a proper name.