Astronomer Amy Mainzer names Asteroid 316201 ML48 after Malala Yousafzai

Islamabad- A new asteroid has been named after Malala Yousafzai, who is also the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner (at 17 years). She was originally a girl’s education campaigner. The asteroid was originally discovered by Amy Mainzer, who is an astronomer at the Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Mainzer had originally named it as Asteroid 316201. However, since it was she who first discovered it, she had the right to name it. In a statement, Mainzer mentioned the fact that it was an honor to name the asteroid after Malala Yousafzai. It was considered to name the asteroid after her, after considering the fact that few asteroids have been named after contributions made by women. Also, contributions made by women of color were pointed out too.

Also, Mainzer hopes that this will encourage more girls to consider a career in science as an option. She was found mentioning that science and engineering are “for everyone” . She also mentioned that mankind “desperately needs the brainpower” of all the smart humans, in order to solve the most difficult of problems, which mankind is presently facing. Therefore, it would be nonsensical to reject the half of the population.

The Malala Asteroid is located in the Asteroid belt of our solar system. It’s orbit lies in between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroid takes around 5 and half years to revolve around the sun. The Malala asteroid was also named earlier as Asteroid 2010 ML48.

Malala is a human right activist from Pakistan. She also survived a headshot. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on October 10, 2014. On July 12, 2013, it was declared by the UN that July 12, would be marked as Malala day. She was also the author of the book: I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and was Shot by the Taliban. She was also listed under Time’s 100 most influential people in the world.

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