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Zamenhof, Esperanto, and astronomy

7 Dec 2014, 00:00 UTC
Zamenhof, Esperanto, and astronomy
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How are asteroids named? Whoever discovers one can propose a name to the International Astronomical Union. The object can be named after the discoverer, after a mythological figure, after a real person, or after a thing. There are two asteroids bearing the names of an eye doctor and the language he developed. Continue reading →

¡SkyCaramba! Weekly astronomy blog for the week ending December 13, 2014
How are asteroids named? Whoever discovers one can propose a name to the International Astronomical Union. The object can be named after the discoverer, after a mythological figure, after a real person, or after a thing.
Finnish astronomer Yrjö Väisälä liked to name asteroids after his friends. He named some after other scientists. A few he named after places including the country of Estonia. His team of asteroid hunters at the University of Turku discovered 807 asteroids. He himself discovered 128.
Two asteroids Väisälä discovered were named 1421 Esperanto and 1462 Zamenhof. The numbers tell you that respecively they were asteroid numbers 1,421 and 1,462 to be discovered. Esperanto is a constructed language developed by Ludwig Zamenhof. Väisälä spoke Esperanto and was one of its ardent advocates.
These asteroids orbit the sun between Mars ...

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