NASA astronomer immortalizes Malala by naming asteroid after her

Malala Yousafzai poses for her Nobel Prize in October 2010

Malala Yousafzai poses for her Nobel Prize on October 10, 2014

Updated 7:17 AM ET, Sun April 12, 2015

(CNN) Malala Yousafzai’s stellar career has included a Nobel Peace Prize. Last week, she made it into outer space.

A NASA astrophysicist has named an asteroid after the teenage education activist from Pakistan, who was gravely wounded by a Pakistani Taliban gunman for promoting the right of girls’ to go to school.

It took a meticulous medical response to save her life more than two years ago. But Malala recovered with no serious neurological damage to become a powerhouse for her cause.

After reading her story, scientist Amy Mainzer, who also consults for PBS on a children’s educational science show, decided Malala deserved to be immortalized. So, she attached her name to the heavens.

Thousands of asteroids swarm through the solar system mainly between Mars and Jupiter. Mainzer, working at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, discovered Asteroid 316201 in June 2010, which gave her the right to name it.

“My postdoctoral fellow Dr. Carrie Nugent brought to my attention the fact that although many asteroids have been named, very few have been named to honor the contributions of women (and particularly women of color),” Mainzer wrote in a note to Malala.

Mainzer gave it the name 316201 Malala, or 2010 ML48.

Malala’s asteroid circles the sun between Mars and Jupiter every five and half years, Mainzer said. “It is about 4 kilometers in diameter, and its surface is very dark, the color of printer toner.”

As a scientist, her support for Malala’s work is logical. When girls around the world also get educations, it increases human potential.

Read further

Additional Reading

Three Hijabis: The Three Muslim Women, Who Received Nobel Prize

The Muslim Times’ collection about Hijab

3 replies

  1. The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the United States government agency responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.

    NASA science is focused on better understanding Earth through the Earth Observing System,[8] advancing heliophysics through the efforts of the Science Mission Directorate’s Heliophysics Research Program,[9] exploring bodies throughout the Solar System with advanced robotic spacecraft missions such as New Horizons,[10] and researching astrophysics topics, such as the Big Bang, through the Great Observatories and associated programs.[11] NASA shares data with various national and international organizations such as from the Greenhouse Gases Observing Satellite

    noun: asteroid; plural noun: asteroids
    a small rocky body orbiting the sun. Large numbers of these, ranging in size from nearly 600 miles (1,000 km) across (Ceres) to dust particles, are found (as the asteroid belt ) especially between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter, though some have more eccentric orbits, and a few pass close to the earth or enter the atmosphere as meteors.

    an echinoderm of the class Asteroidea ; a starfish.…0…1c.1.64.serp..0.12.1902.j0JOwT1pHLg

    relating to echinoderms of the class Asteroidea.

    early 19th century: from Greek asteroeidēs ‘starlike,’ from astēr ‘star.’

  2. British and American troops have killed and wounded thousands of Afghan men, women and CHILDREN. Its not just the Taliban doing all the killing of civilians is it? Taliban have said she was shot for promoting ‘Western thinking’ Because Taliban thinking is so much more enlightened and attractive. Yes, we have gangs and we have drugs. Sin and depravity, vice and violence. We have whole subcultures with no future, and no hope. But you actively seek to destroy those with hope, and condemn people to have no future. What about the other innocent people shot by US and British soldiers? And those in Palestine? Or is it cruel only when Taliban does it? This girl is being used by the British to keep the unwinnable war in Afghanistan going. Are British troops really dying so that girls can go to school in Afghanistan?

    The shooting of 14 year old Malala Yousafzai has shocked the world, and shocking it should be, as children don’t deserve such ruthlessness.
    What Malala stood for, and what she was fighting against, is not my concern at the moment, for such concerns, whether right or wrong, have already been addressed by a large number of so-called advocates for Human rights and justice. I am not even concerned in knowing who actually tried to kill her, for I as a Muslim do not condone such an act. What I am really concerned about is the hypocritical stance taken by some of the voices who are standing up for Malala today.

    Two days after the activist girl was shot, American singer Madonna, dedicated a song for her, and said, “This made me cry. The 14-year-old schoolgirl who wrote a blog about going to school. The Taliban stopped her bus and shot her. Do you realise how sick that is?” Now whether Taliban is responsible for this act or not, I am not sure, but why doesn’t Madonna cry when drone attacks launched by her country kill hundreds of innocent men, women and children every day in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen? The children killed here, also wanted to go to schools, they wanted to live too. Doesn’t she realises how sick that is?

    UNICEF tweeted on October 11 that, “Today our thoughts are with Malala Yousafzai, the inspirational 14-year-old activist for girls’ rights.” What made this organisation for children rights remain mum, when 16 year old Abdul-Rahman al-Awlaki , the innocent son of Imam Anwar al-Awlaki, was killed by the United States, when he was having barbecue with his cousin and friends?

    What moral rights do countries like UK, USA, and their warmongering allies have, to condemn this shooting, when their hands are coloured with the blood of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iraq?

    The question we should all be asking is does the blood of children become worthless, when the super-power of the world does it, and is sacred when its adversaries allegedly do it? I don’t think so.

    Malalla Yousufzai is used by the CIA, Pakistan’s corrupt Govt and Kabul’s rogue regime as a child soldier (see the pics below) to carryout their propaganda work against their Taliban ‘enemies’ who is at war with them against occupation. Her parents foolishly sacrificed their daughter for fame and money or whatever reason. She was used as a pawn in the dirty war of occupation.

    If Taliban attacked her because she attended school then there were many who were attending the same school along with her … why didn’t they shoot all of them … Why only her? This is the way Americans work … They brought an idol and shot her or got her shot …. they killed their own Ambassador to kill Zia-ul Haq. They killed 3000 of their own people in the Twin Towers on 911 to achieve their goals. Don’t be fooled when they say … ‘Taliban admitted” or Osama admitted. or Khalid Sheik Admitted.

    Questionable! How do we know the truth?

    “in support of Malala, to stand up for what Malala stood; education. It was the right thing to do”. Of course it is the right thing to stand up against such terrorism act.

    Oh yah? She stood only for education? Then how come all the other student girls are not killed? This is a lame reason put forward.

    She was the only girl shot on the Bus full of girls by the masked terrorists. Pakistan is full of Girls Schools but not killed. In this corrupted world full of lies and deceits we cannot trust anything
    that is put in front of us without the full evidence. Let us not jump on the band wagon.

    No doubt it is one of the greatest tragedies, whether it is done by the Talibans or others the enemies of Islam..

    Consequently, I like to get some evidence from the Media to prove it was done by the Muslims-Talibans. Allahu Aalam. The truth will come out one day Insha’Allah and HE will punish whoever the culprits are.The lies cannot last for long.
    London School of Islamics Trust

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