Thursday, 10 June 2010

Minor Planet 23248 Batchelor

So, long story short, I have a near-earth asteroid named after me. It’s pretty much the second-coolest thing I own (apologies, but first place has to go to my new handbag) and makes for a pretty interesting talking point in job interviews. Anyway, I mentioned before that talked about this to my mentor and his colleague. Well it transpires that Alan (the colleague) was so intrigued as to whether or not I would ever be able to see my asteroid, that he went away and looked it up. And then he delved a little deeper and worked out when and where it will be visible from Earth. And then he realised that this corresponded perfectly with a telescope time slot and location that he will be using at the end of the month. So, THEY ARE GOING TO TAKE IMAGES OF MY ASTEROID FOR ME!!! HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!?!

I still haven’t quite got over how amazing this is! I just thought that I would never actually ever get to see my asteroid (it’s much too dim to see with the naked eye, binoculars or even most small telescopes at night) and now, the people from Fermilab and a professor from some university are going to use up their valuable observing time to takes photos of it for me! If the images are good enough, we should be able to perform photometric analysis on them to determine exactly what my minor planet is composed of. Wow. I am keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that it’s a clear sky at the observatory that night!

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