At a tender age, she’s done more than enough already. She’s survived a headshot, boldly faced up to extremist militants and responded to bombs with books. Only 17 years old, she’s met the Queen of England, won the Nobel Prize and met with the President of the United States of America. Now, Malala has an asteroid to her name!
When Amy Manizer of NASA discovered the asteroid, according to International Astronomical Union’s laws, she was entitled to name her discovery as she deemed fit. In an unprecedented generous manner, Manizer named the star Malala316201 in honor of the international Pakistani female icon. The asteroid which will now be formally referred to as Malala316201, lies in the Main Belt, between planets Jupiter and Mars. The asteroid is 4km in diameter and has a dark surface.
Feeling the need to name an asteroid after a woman who struggled for her rights, this is what Manizer said. “It is a great honor to be able to name an asteroid after Malala,” writes Mainzer at the Malala Fund Blog. “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).”
“My advice to young girls is that science and engineering are for everyone!,” writes Mainzer. “We desperately need the brainpower of all smart people to solve some of humanity’s most difficult problems, and we can’t afford to reject half the population’s. Plus, it is a wonderful feeling to learn about the world around you – it’s a job you will fall in love with each day.”
Malala has had many achievements to her name, quite a few have already been mentioned above. Though, this is the most unique and one-of-a-kind laurel that she can boast about. Malala Yousafzai has made Pakistan proud on many occasions and this one is no different.