A Fitting Tribute to Douglas Adams

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On searching for news about the death of our own DNA I came across the following bulletin issued by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) on 16th May 2001.

'Sci fi writer immortalised in space.'

An international space agency has named an asteroid Arthurdent, after a character from science fiction writer Douglas Adams' best-known work, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

The Massachusetts-based Minor Planet Centre, a branch of the International Astronomical Union (IAU), made the announcement in an e-mail circular, the same day the British author died.

The asteroid's name was proposed by Felix Hormuth, an astronomer at Germany's Starkenburg Observatory, which spotted the space rock on February 7, 1998.

One of the Center's roles is to assign names to new asteroids, comets and other orbiting rocks.

Adams died in Santa Barbara, California, on the weekend after a heart attack.'

Being a little sceptical - but trusting the ABC I discovered that The Minor Planet Center (MPC) operates at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, under the auspices of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) and is a nonprofit organization, with principal funding coming from subscriptions to the various services offered by the Center. The MPC is responsible for the efficient collection, (computation,) checking and dissemination of astrometric observations and orbits for minor planets and comets.

Hmmm - well, the Smithsonian - reputable enough and the IAU is also well respected - so I can only accept assume that the ABC report is true.

And what a wonderful tribute - I am sure that Douglas would be pleased. Arthur Dent will forever be on some astronomer's chart.
Maybe, in the future, the asteroid could be used as the site for a fabulous Restaurant? Why not? The Guide itself was once only an idea ...


The original article can be found Here.

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