February 28th, 2016
Aryan Mishra, a 15-year-old boy, from Chinmaya Vidyalaya in New Delhi, is all over the news for discovering a near-Earth asteroid in a nationwide search campaign. He is very famous lad among the school students today. Every other morning to class, they ask him what was it that was shining brightly in the sky the other night. Today, he gives talks to students from not only from his school but from all across the world. Students are very much benefited from his events as he shares the wonders of our solar system and a further understanding of astronomy and planetary science.
But Aryan’s adolescence was not always as happy as a sandboy. At an age of 11, he was known as something fairly different than what he is known for today- a psycho. Where he was abandoned by people for being “a mad and a crazy child”, parallelly back at home he could not do much about his dreams.
Aryan lives in a slum colony in New Delhi. He wakes up at 4 o’clock of every morning to help sell newspaper before going to school. He does not belong to a rich family, nor are as his parents well-educated to help him out with a career like astronomy. However, the best that they did for their son was to gift him a telescope so as to feed him with his wishes. And then there was no stopping for him. For the first time in 2011, Aryan traced the majestic rings around Saturn. That influenced him enough to take up astronomy.
The asteroid that he discovered in the search campaign, SPACE (globally called International Astronomical Search Collaboration, i.e., IASC), is currently designated as 2014 00372 and is soon to be made a part of the world’s minor body catalogue maintained by the International Astronomical Union in Paris.
Aryan saw people transfixed at the beautiful possibilities of the cosmos. They wanted more and more so he spent days and nights to research. Gradually, he set up classes and lectures via Google Hangout and Skype which increased his outreach. Now he knows that he is at just the right place doing just the right thing. “My aim is to inspire millions of kids all around the world to look up. Really the sky has not limited.”
We are often presented with what is wrong with our youth today. Aryan is a breath of fresh air giving us hope for this and the forthcoming generation. He is an exemplary example for young people everywhere and is already paving his future to the cosmos. Even the stars aren’t out of reach for him, as he aspires to become a professional astronomer and continue to make profound cosmic discoveries for the benefit of humanity.