Two Schoolgirls Discover Asteroid Near Mars

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Radhika Lakhani and Vaidehi Vekariya, both class 10 students from Surat, Gujarat, have discovered an asteroid near Mars, which is slowly moving towards Earth. They participated in a project sponsored by Space India and National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), which allows students to analyse images taken by a telescope positioned at the University of Hawaii, USA. Radhika and Vaidehi discovered the asteroid while working on this project and named it ‘HLV2514’. According to Aakash Dwivedi, a senior educator and astronomer at Space India, the students were given this project in June 2020. Students across India participated and were taught how to spot celestial bodies and use specialised software to analyse images collected by NASA’s PAN Star telescope. This project was intended to involve and educate students in the fields of science and astronomy.

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