Her passion for astronomy has being glowing since she started learning how to walk.
Today, at just 8 years old, Nicole Oliveira is named the world’s youngest astronomer while she’s now looking for asteroids as part of a NASA-affliated program.
In addition to that, she’s attending international seminars and meeting with her country’s top space and science figures.
Inside the Brazilian girl’s room, decorated with posters of space elements and solar system, she has a computer with two large screens which she uses to study images of the sky.
“I want to build rockets. I would love to go to the Kennedy Space Center at NASA in Florida to see their rockets,” she said.
The NASA affiliate program is called Asteroid hunters which is a medium to introduce young people to science, while giving them a chance to make space discoveries of their own.
Asteroids hunters is a program governed by the International Astronomical Search Collaboration affiliated with NASA and in partnership with Brazil’s ministry of science.
Eight-year old Nicolinha, as she’s fondly called has already found 18 asteroids but she’s even after bigger achievements.
She would break the record of 18-year old Italian Luigi Sannino as the youngest person in the world to discover an asteroid if her discoveries are certified.
“I will give them the names of Brazilian scientists, or members of my family, like my mom or my dad,” she said while speaking with the AFP.
Nicolinha’s passion for astronomy was glaring when she requested for a telescope present at age 4.
“When she was two, she would raise her arms to the sky and ask me, ‘Mom, give me a star,’ her mother Zilma Janaca said.
“We understood that this passion for astronomy was serious when she asked us for a telescope as a birthday present when she turned four. I didn’t even really know what a telescope was.”
Even though she’s just 8 years of age, Nicolinha has met with prominent scientists in the space science industry. She has interviewed, via her YouTube channel, Brazilian astronomer Duilia de Mello who took part in the discovery of a supernova called SN 1997D.
Nicolinha has also met the legendary Marcus Pontes, the only Brazilian to have been to space as well as the nation’s minister of science.
Currently, Nicolinha is on scholarship at a private school where she pursues her ambition to become an aerospace engineer in the future.
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