Because she’s cool? Seriously, there are so many astronomical objects around today that if we stuck to mythological characters and astronomers, we’d run out soon. So why not name it after her?
Comets are named after the discoverer, but asteroids are named by the discoverer. He/she can choose pretty much any name, though it’s usually not his/her own name. Names of family members, geographical names, and famous/historic people are common. Here is a complete list.
Wow, there’s even more than I thought. To give you some idea, Annefrank is not the only comet named after an Anne. There’s also: Anna, Annafreud, Annagerman, Annalaura, Annapavlova, Annatalova, Anndavgui, Anne-Marie, Annefrank, Annelemaitre, Anneliese, Annenskij, Anneraugh, Anneres, and Annette.
A whole buch of them seem to be named by finns. At least:
Hameenlinna, Helsinki, Innanen, Iso-Heikkila, Jyvaskyla, Kaali, Kaarina, Kallavesi, Kalle, Kalevala, Kukkamaki, Lahti, Vartiovuori, Vilen. Boy, aren’t we smart. Or at least good at looking at distant rocks.
Here’s your answer:
If there is one discovered that is on a crash course to Uranus, I hope they name it “Mrs. Slocombe’s Pussy”. That way the headlines can read “Mrs. Slocombe’s Pussy Makes Contact With Uranus”
Asteroid 4822 Karge is named for my high school physics teacher.
But not Agnetha or Anni-Frid? Come on, astronomers! If you change your minds, they’re the first in line.
My favorite asteroid name is 2309 Mr. Spock. It’s not actually named after the famous Vulcan, but after the discoverer’s cat. According to discoverer James Gibson, the feline Spock, like his namesake, was “imperturbable, logical, intelligent, and had pointed ears”.
This caused a bit of a hullabaloo that led to pets being off limits for who you can name asteroids after.
The real Spock recently got his own back, though, when Leonard Nimoy’s name was given to 4864 Nimoy.
Why do you ask? Are you opposed to the idea of an iconic historical figure who educated the world about the horrors of war and impending genocide being named after a heavenly body? What’s your agenda in asking? Do you think she’s unworthy of the honor?
If one of us discovers an asteroid, can it be named “zombiethread”?
Keep in mind that he asked the question in 2002. He might not remember why he asked.