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Asteroid 2002 NT named after India

India has been honored by having an asteroid named after her. Formerly known as 2002 NT, the asteroid has been officially named as ‘78118 Bharat’ by the Committee on Small Body Nomenclature (CSBN) of the International Astronomical Union (IAU). 78118 Bharat was discovered on July 4, 2002 by an Indian amateur astronomer named Vishnu Reddy.He is from Goodricke-Pigott Observatory in Arizona, USA. It is the first asteroid to be discovered by an Indian amateur astronomer.

Asteroids are minor planets that revolve around the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. The Bharat asteroid is 2 to 3 km in diameter and it orbits the Sun once every four years in an elliptical orbit at an average distance of 379,340,000 kilometres.