Asteroid named after Davao engineering student

Jul. 06, 2024

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – During the International Asteroid Day last June 30, Ateneo de Davao University robotics engineering senior Nadine Antonette Obafial was among those honored with an asteroid named after her. This was announced by the university on its Facebook page last July 2.

An asteroid discovered from the solar system’s main belt on July 30, 2000, is now named 34044 OBAFIAL.

The naming of asteroids is a practice by the science community to pay tribute or celebrate achievements of fellow scientists and students for their contribution to the field of science. 

The AdDU page said Obafial was given this honor as a member of a team that won second place in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) 2017 in Los Angeles, California, USA.

“The team’s outstanding plant science project proved that the Acacia bark extract was an effective organic insecticide against an adult black rice bug. Her team’s exceptional science investigatory project significantly contributed to the country’s scientific development,” the university statement said.

Obafial is a scholar of ADDU and is in her fourth year in robotics engineering.

Aside from Obafial, the Department of Science and Technology said there are 21 other asteroids named after Filipino scientists, students, and historical figures.

The International Asteroid Day was declared by the United Nations in 2016 to raise awareness on the impact hazard of asteroids and on actions to be taken in cases of asteroids threatening to approach Earth. (

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