Radhika Lakhani and Vaidehi Vekariya, both studying in the 10th grade, were working on a school project when they discovered an asteroid, which they named HLV2514.
Akash Dwivedi, senior teacher and astronomer at Space India, told CNN that students across India are taught how to spot celestial bodies using software that analyzes images collected by NASA’s Pan Star Telescope. The students then discovered moving objects in the pictures.
Dwivedi said that the project was aimed at involving and educating students in science and astronomy.
Sekariya said, “We started the project in June and we sent our analysis back to NASA a few weeks ago. On July 23, they sent us an email confirming that we had identified an object on Earth is.” .
Dwivedi reported that the asteroid is currently close to the orbit of Mars – but in 1 million years, it will change its orbit and move closer to Earth, though it will still be more than 10 times the distance that exists between Earth and Moon.
“The asteroids are taken very seriously by NASA. Since this asteroid is changing its orbit, it has become news,” said Dwivedi.
Asteroids, also called miniature planets, are small rocky objects orbiting the Sun.
Vekariya said the disciples could not make the discovery due to the epidemic, but added: “It was a dream. I want to be an astronaut.”
He said: “This is such a big subject. There is no limit to searching in space, especially the black hole theory.”