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World's Youngest Astronomer: Meet Nicole Oliviera, a seven-year-old Brazilian girl who discovered 7 asteroids for NASA

Arfa Javaid

Nicole Oliviera, a seven-year-old girl from Brazil became the world's youngest astronomer ever after she discovered seven asteroids for the United States Space Agency NASA. 

The young astronomer participated in the 'Asteroid Hunt' citizen science programme run by International Astronomical Search Collaboration. Interestingly, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is a member of it as well. 

International Astronomical Search Collaboration shared a photo of Nicole Oliviera and her parents with the certificate and congratulated her for achieving this feat. The organization stated that she has made many preliminary observations of asteroids in her searches.

In June 2021, she was invited by the  Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to deliver a lecture in the 1st International Seminar on Astronomy and Aeronautics. The seminar was conducted online due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic by the Ministry itself. 

Despite being young, Oliviera has a vast knowledge of astronomy due to her immense love for the subject and has been presenting lectures in schools in her hometown. She is the youngest member of the Alagoas Astronomical Studies Center, Centro de Estudos Astronômico de Alagoas (CEAAL), an institution that brings together amateur astronomers from all over Brazil.

At the tender age of six, she participated in a course run by CEAAL but took the examination later and cleared it with flying colours. When she was just two years old, she asked her mother for a star but instead received a toy star. Little her parents knew that her colossal fascination for space and related activities will bring her international fame.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, she created her own YouTube channel where she imparts knowledge on astronomy. Oliviera talks about asteroids and space along with her three astronomy-enthusiast friends. At times, she invites eminent researchers and professors in this field to share their wealth of knowledge with the people who want to know more about astronomy. The little stargazer aspires to become an aerospace engineer and build rockets to take astronauts on space missions. 

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