The huge asteroid 2005 YU55 was small and dim in the sky during its close Earth approach yesterday (Nov. 8), but a handful of high-school students helped it blaze bright on computer screens around the world, Space.com reports. The Clay Center Observatory in Brookline, Mass., tracked 2005 YU55 with its 25-inch (64-centimeter) telescope as the big space rock flew by Earth Tuesday evening, then webcast the resulting images live around the world. And three high school kids from Brookline’s Dexter School were in charge of making it happen.

“We’re running the telescope and viewing and taking pictures of the asteroid,” junior Sam Lapides told SPACE.com on Tuesday. “There are some advisers who are helping us if we run into any problems. But overall, it is student-based and student-run.”

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staff and wire services reports