Racine, Wisconsin - Three sophomore high school students at Racine's Prairie School have discovered an asteroid, a feat that is probably unprecedented.

Sophomores Connor Leipold, Tim Pastika and Kyle Simpson will name the asteroid, now known as "2008 AZ28", in about four years, said the Minor Planet Center in Cambridge, Mass., the international body on solar system objects which verified the discovery.

"It's extremely rare and I don't know if an asteroid has ever been discovered by high school students before," said their science teacher, Andrew Vanden Heuvel. "Ninety-nine percent are discovered by professional researchers."

The asteroid must be observed two nights in a row in order for it to be considered an official "discovery," WISN.com quoted Heuvel.

"Asteroids are not easy to spot. They are very faint, about 10,000 times fainter than the faintest thing you can see with your naked eyes. You need to know how to look for them," said Heuvel who estimates that the 2008 AZ28 asteroid takes approximately five years to orbit the sun.

Five undergraduate astronomy students at the University of Washington discovered 1,300 asteroid in 2005 and 2006.