Gujarati girl Rutu Parekh and three others from India have won the honor of having an asteroid named after them. Asteroid 2000HD73 has now been named ‘Rutuparekh’.
Another scientist with an Ahmedabad connection – Kumar Venkataramani who completed his PhD from IIT-Gandhinagar and worked at the Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), also discovered asteroid 2000SM362, named after him ‘Kumar’.
Parekh, who completed her BSc from St Xavier’s College in the city, worked at SEP University and then PRL Ahmedabad before moving abroad to pursue higher education. She currently works as a post-doctoral researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in the USA.
The Working Group Small Bodies Nomenclature (WGSBN) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the international body responsible for naming celestial objects, on June 22 named 198 asteroids after scientists who have made significant contributions to the field of astrophysics. A total of four Indians have been included in this list.