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Asteroid Named in Tribute to Leonard Nimoy

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In honour of Leonard Nimoy who passed away earlier this year at the age of 83, astronomers have named an asteroid after the Star Trek actor. Universe Today describes the asteroid’s characteristics:

4864 Nimoy, a mountain-sized rock roughly 6 miles (10 km) across, orbits the Sun once every 3.9 years within the inner part of the main asteroid belt between Mars and Vulcan, er Jupiter.

They also note that although this isn’t the first asteroid whose name references Star Trek, it’s the first named after the actor:

While Leonard Nimoy’s name will forever tumble about the asteroid belt, his fictional character got there before him. Or did it? 2309 Mr. Spock (former 1971 QX1) was discovered by James Gibson on August 16, 1971. An outer main belt asteroid about 13 miles (21 km) across and orbiting the Sun every 5.23 years, it’s actually not named for the Star Trek character. Nope. Gibson named it for his cat.

Apparently, you might be able to catch a glimpse of 4864 Nimoy next month with the proper telescope. It’s an incredibly perfect tribute and a great reminder of how Nimoy has been, and always shall be, our friend.

(via Blastr, image via Stellarium)

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