Two teenagers in India have discovered an asteroid near Mars that is currently on its way to Earth, according to multiple reports.
Vaidehi Vekariya and 14-year-old Radhika Lakhani took part in a program with Space India and NASA, which allowed them to view images through a telescope in Hawaii. They used special software to look at the images hijacked by the telescope.
That’s when they made a discovery – an asteroid, named HLV2514, hung near Mars and slowly moved its orbit to Earth.
We are proud to announce VAIDEHI VEKARIYA SANJAYBHAI and RADHIKA LAKHANI PRAFULBHAI, two students of PP SAVANI CHAITANYA VIDYA SANKUL (CBSE) from Surat with the help of SPACE-AIASC have discovered a new Asteroid named HLV25. pic.twitter.com/HXpOvrwxNY
̵1; SPACE India (@Spacian) July 25, 2020
The asteroid will not hit Earth for 1 million years, CNN reports. It will likely still be 10 times farther from the moon. So there is no need to panic.
Aakash Dwivedi, a senior educator and astronomer at Space India, told CNN that the discovery means something even though it is far from Earth.
“Asteroids are being taken seriously by NASA. As this asteroid is changing its orbit it has become news,” Dwivedi said.
The asteroid currently has a random name. But the two teenage girls plan to give him a better name once they have time to think of something.
According to the Deputy, the girls found 20 different items in their photos.
Interestingly, India saw two young students discover two asteroids within two weeks earlier, according to Vice. This has happened despite India’s conservative approach to space technology spending.