Great news for Pointers! Two students of South Point High School in Kolkata will now have minor planets named after them.
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Lincoln Laboratory, USA, have bestowed the honor on Anish Mukherjee and Debarghya Sarkar in recognition of their winning the second Grand award in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering category at the Nevada Fair, the South Point Education Society said in Kolkata. The honor was given to them in recognition of their performance at the 2009 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Neveda, USA. Anish and Debarghya won the second grand award in the electrical and mechanical category in the event.
"Minor planet 2000 AH52 (citation No. 25629) and minor planet 2000 AT53 (citation No. 25630) will, henceforth, be known as 'Mukherjee' and 'Sarkar', respectively," it said.
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The two planets were discovered on January 4, 2000, by Lincoln Laboratory Near-Earth Asteroid Research team at Socorro under its Linear programme, a release said. “When we started working for this technology in 2008, we never imagined that planets would be named after us,” said Sarkar
The students passed out of South Point High School in the city this year. Anish has joined the engineering course at Jadavpur University and Debarghya has joined the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research.
A minor planet is an astronomical object in direct orbit around the Sun that is neither a dominant planet nor a comet. Since 1801, more than two lakh minor planets have been discovered mostly in the asteroid belt.