Two college students find asteroid

Mar 18, 2008

Two Texas college students discovered an asteroid while examining images of space on a computer, a report said.

Tarrant County College students Ryan Gallagher and Robbyn Kindle, 40, were recommended by their former physics professor, Raymond Benge, to be part of an international program to examine images of space for asteroids, the Fort Worth (Texas) Star-Telegram reported.

"It was confirmed last week. It is official. For undergraduate students to find an asteroid is very rare. There are a lot of astronomers who've never found one," Benge said of the students' March 9 discovery.

The International Astronomical Union assigned the asteroid a tentative identification of 2008 EB61, Benge said.

Gallagher and Kindle both have finished undergraduate studies but decided to enroll in a science class to increase their odds of being accepted into graduate medical programs, the Star-Telegram reported.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Computer simulation suggests early Earth bombarded by asteroids and comets

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