Two schoolgirls from India have discovered a near-earth asteroid that could zip past the earth. NASA, the United States space agency has confirmed this discovery, and they have named this asteroid HLV2514. The incredible finding was made by two schoolgirls from Surat, named Vaidehi Vekariya Sanjaybhai and Radhika Lakhani Prafulbhai, and they made this finding as a part of an international campaign.
Milestone achievement by Indian girls
These students are studying in PP Savani Chaitanya Vidya Sankul, and they were taking part in a program conducted by Space India in collaboration with International Astronomical Search Collaboration (IASC) and Hardin Simmons University in Texas.
After making the discovery, Space India soon shared details of the finding on their Facebook page, where it went viral. Later, NASA acknowledged their rare find, and sent across a confirmation mail, Times of Indian reports.
"We are proud to announce that two Girls from Surat with the help of SPACE-All India Asteroid Search Campaign discovered a new Asteroid which is a Near-Earth Object. It is a near-Earth object (NEO) that is currently near the planet Mars, and over time (~10^6 years) will evolve into an Earth-crossing asteroid. We congratulate both the students and teachers for the tremendous discovery," wrote Space India on their Facebook page.
Deep space threats continue
It was around 66 million years back that a giant asteroid hit the earth and resulted in the extinction of dinosaurs. Since then, no such space rocks have hit the earth, and this absence of space threats has played a crucial role in determining the evolution of various living species on earth, and it includes humans too.
However, several top scientists that include Dr Iain McDonald believe that devastating events like asteroid hits are not confined to the past, and it will happen in the future too. In order to prevent a possible catastrophe, NASA is now developing a planetary defense weapon aimed to deflect incoming asteroids.