The Minor Planet
Center is hosted by the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and is a sub-node of NASA's Planetary Data System Small Bodies Node at the University of Maryland (http://www.
The five minor planets
were discovered between 1995 and 1999 by the Beijing Schmidt CCD Asteroid Program at the Xinglong observation station in north China.
Several minor planets
have names with a South African connection.
Jayaprakash, Mukherjee, Sarkar and Vaishnav are some of the new minor planets
named after Indian students who became eligible for the honour by virtue of their performance at an international school science fair organised by microchip maker Intel.
Rhonda Stroud, head, Nanoscale Materials Section, has been honored by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) with the naming of minor planet
, asteroid 1981 EA40, '8468 Rhondastroud.
The meteor shower is a result of the stream of debris left behind by the comet 96P/Machholz and the minor planet
2003 EH1, Pagasa said.
The orbit of minor planet
Sedna, and of hundreds of trans-Neptunian objects, defy mathematical predictions unless a substantial, but so far, invisible object is affecting them.
The clustering of the orbits of the newly-identified objects, which have now been submitted to the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet
Centre to receive official designations, suggests that they are most likely being influenced by something massive and very distant - the proposed Planet X.
The confirmation was announced by the International Astronomical Union's Minor Planet
Center, the international clearing house for all such discoveries, on February4, after eight other observatories confirmed the sighting.
Starting in 1977 with discovery of minor planet
2060 Chiron, numerous icy objects similar to Pluto with eccentric orbits were found.
The lists and orbital elements of such bodies are updated regularly from Minor Planet
Center data and we are currently working on automating that process.
The chart on p 33 shows the position of Vesta for 2013 June 21-23, when the minor planet
appears close to Venus in the sky.