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NASA astronomer names asteroid after Malala Yousafzai

An asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter has been named after the Pakistani teenage activist

Published: Updated:

Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai, the youngest ever Nobel laureate, now has an asteroid named in her honor.

A NASA astrophysicist, who works at the space agency’s jet propulsion laboratory in California, discovered an asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter five years ago decided recently to name it after the teenage activist.

Scientist Amy Mainzer said made the decision after reading about Malala, who was seriously wounded after being shot at by a Pakistani Taliban gunman for promoting the right of girls to attend school.

Mainzer said: “I read about Malala's amazing story and thought that if anyone deserves to have an asteroid named after them, she does,” as quoted by The Independent.

She said a conversation with one of her colleagues helped inspire her with the idea, after the later point out that few asteroids are actually named after women.

“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,” she added.