An asteroid discovered by NASA astronomer has been named after the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who also was girls’ education campaigner.
Amy Mainzer, NASA astronomer at Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Calfornia, who discovered the asteroid back in 2014 named it as ‘316201 Malala’ in her honour.
When asked what compelled him to name an asteroid after women, Mainzer said that Dr. Carrie Nugent, his postdoctoral fellow brought this to his attention and it’s a great honour as very few have been named to honor the contributions of women. What else better could have been done to honor the Nobel Peace Prize winner? The move will encourage women towards science and engineering.
“My advice to young girls is that science and engineering are for everyone!,” said Mainzer. “We desperately need the brainpower of all smart people to solve some of humanity’s most difficult problems, and we can’t afford to reject half the population’s. Plus, it is a wonderful feeling to learn about the world around you – it’s a job you will fall in love with each day.”
The asteroid is situated in the belt between Mars and Jupiter. Being four kilometers wide in diameter the asteroid takes five and a half year to complete one revolution around the Sun. It was reported that the asteroid had a dark surface similar to the color of printer toner.
Moreover this isn’t the first time that any asteroid is named after people. More than 20 thousand asteroid previously got its name after human beings. However, most of them were after males. We can’t deny the fact that Malala has improved the image of Pakistan in the world.