Kids get official nod for stellar find


An asteroid discovered in 2009 by two Japanese boys, a fifth-grader and a second-year junior high school student, has been registered with the International Astronomical Union recently.

The boys were given the right to name the asteroid by the Paris-based IAU, which regulates the naming of stars, the Japan Spaceguard Association said.

It is believed to be the first time an asteroid discovered by an elementary or junior high school student has been added to the IAU list, sources said.

On Nov. 22, 2009, Yuto Kanetaka and Yohei Motegi spotted the asteroid at a stargazing event in Ibara, Okayama Prefecture.