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India school girls discover Earth-bound asteroid

Two school girls from India discovered an Earth-bound asteroid by poring through images from a University of Hawaii telescope, an Indian space education institute said on Monday.

The asteroid is presently near Mars and its orbit is expected to cross that of Earth in about one million years’ time, said SPACE India, a private institute where the two 14-year-old girls received training.

“I look forward to… when we will get a chance to name the asteroid,” said Vaidehi Vekariya, who added that she wants to become an astronaut when she is older.




The asteroid is called HLV2514.

Radhika Lakhani, the other student, said she was working hard on her education. “I don’t even have a TV at home, so that I can concentrate on my studies.”

Asteroids and comets pose a potential threat to Earth, and scientists discover thousands of them each year. In 2013, an asteroid heavier than the Eiffel Tower exploded over central Russia, leaving more than 1,000 people injured from its shockwave.