PHOENIX — Two Arizona State University faculty members have received an out-of-this-world honor.
Phil Christensen and Dave Williams, both faculty members in ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, now have asteroids named after them.
Asteroid (10461), now called “Dawilliams” was discovered on Dec. 6, 1978, and is found in the main asteroid belt bet located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
Asteroid (90388) on the other hand, named “Philchristensen” is also located in the main belt and was discovered on Nov. 24, 2003.
“I was very surprised to receive this honor from the astronomical community. Only a select few of the Dawn at Vesta participating scientists, who did exemplary work during the mission, were so honored,” said Williams in a release.
Only a select few are chosen to have a celestial body named after them.
The naming process is presided over by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), an organization or professional astronomers.
After being discovered, an asteroid is given a provisional designation by the Minor Planet Center of the IAU, which includes the year of discovery, two letters and if needed, further digits.
Once its orbit is known and predicted, the asteroid receives a permanent number and becomes eligible for naming.
All proposed names must be approved by the IAU’s Committee on Small Body Nomenclature.
Not only professors or scientists get the honor of being named after an asteroid. Some discoverers have named the objects after celebrities, such as James Bond and The Beatles.
Neither of these asteroids poses a risk of collision with Earth.
- Telecommuting: 5 tips to make it work for employers and employees
- See how top CFOs feel about economic growth in the Valley
- Migraine myths that keep patients from effective treatments
- Here’s why Gaydos went tankless with his water heater
- 12 things to watch before the Oscars
- Bocce ball and basketball: How you can help Arizona's Special Olympics athletes
- Tips on building the best wine room in Arizona
- Avoid the nightmare: 6 tips to choose a great contractor
- Breast cancer: Improved testing and treatments means more survivors
- Best and worst of Super Bowl commercials
- Failed back surgery: New hope for patients living in pain
- Ticking time bombs: Telltale signs your water heater is about to explode
- Reading glasses could be a thing of the past
- 6 cool ways teachers are using technology in the classroom
- Emerging tech jobs in Phoenix and how to get one in 2017
- 4 top treatments athletes use for pain
- Emergency! What to do when bathrooms flood
- Operation Santa Claus needs holiday help
- This college bowl season is likely to be epic
- Arizona kids in crisis: How you can help
- 11 holiday classics for the ultimate movie marathon
- New treatment offers hope for migraine sufferers
- 11 stadiums to watch your favorite football team
- Shopping for a TV? Best models for 2016
- The new beer pairing guide for holiday foods
- Avoid this holiday plumbing disaster in your home
- 7 tips to avoid holiday weight gain
- New treatments mean better prostate cancer survival rates
- 5 of the scariest things found in drains
- 6 tips to create the best family movie night