Asteroids named after Filipinos
- 6282 Edwelda is an asteroid named in honor of Filipinos Edwin L Aguirre and Imelda B. Joson by the International Astronomical Union (IAU) in 1995. IAU used the combined first names of the two Filipinos in recognition of their accomplishments in the field of astronomy, including the book they wrote on Halley’s comet that the National Research Council of the Philippines published in 1985. They are also Filipino editors of the Sky & Telescope magazine.
- 11697 Estrella is named after Allan Noriel Estrella, a Filipino high school student of Manila Science High School (MaSci), who won the 2002 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with his project, “A Novel Application of Locally Formulated Cholesteric Crystals in Dosimetry” along with his groupmates, Jeric V. Macalintal, another asteroid name awardee, and Richard K.S. Manapat. They won the First Grand Award Category in Physics that year!
- 12088 Macalintal is another asteroid named after Jeric Valles Macalintal, a Filipino student of MaSci. It can be found in the main asteroid belt, between the planets Mars and Jupiter.
- 12522 Rara is named after Prem Vilas Fortran M. Rara, of the Integrated Development School, Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. Rara won the Second Grand Award Category in Microbiology for his research entitled, “Antibiotic Substance Obtained from the Parotid Gland Secretion of the Toad (Bufo Marinus)”. He also won in 2002.
- 13241 Biyo is named after Dr. Josette Talamera Biyo, a science teacher of Philippine Science High School in Ilo-Ilo. Dr. Biyo is the first Asian to bag the Intel Excellence in Teaching Award in 2002. According to her, she dreamt of stars, but she got a planet! Not bad isn’t it? A very touching article about her life as a science teacher is can be found here. Asteroids Biyo, Macalintal, Estrella and Rara were all discovered in 1998 by Linear or Lincoln Laboratory Near-Earth Asteroid Research Team, a robotic telescope located in Socorro, New Mexico, operated by Massachussetts Institute of Technology.
- 4866 Badillo is an asteroid named after a Filipino Jesuit and former director of the Manila Observatory, Father Victor L. Badillo in 2005. According to IAU, asteroid 4866 is given to Badillo because of his contribution in popularizing astronomy to the Philippines for more than three decades and giving inspirations to countless Filipino astronomers after him. He served as the founder and the president of the Philippine Astronomical Society from 1972 to 1990.
- And finally, 6636 Kintanar, an asteroid circling the Sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter (asteroid belt), measuring 4 to 9 kilometers in diameter is named after Dr. Roman Lucero Kintanar, a 77 year old Filipino scientist and former director of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) from 1958-1994. His long public service and contribution to the modernization and advancement of the Philippine weather forecasting, as well as inspiring other astronomers, put his name to where it is now by the Astronomical League of the Philippines. Kintanar also became the president of the U.N World Meteorological Organization from 1979 to 1987.
- An asteroid will be named after Department of Science and Technology Merit Scholar Miguel Arnold Reyes as he bagged the second grand award in the recently concluded 2011 International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) held in Los Angeles, California (read more)
- Asteroid 2000 EL157 has been officially designated 30100 Christophergo by the International Astronomical Union and announced in the Minor Planet Circular 91791 issued by the Minor Planet Center at Harvard Center for Astrophysics. Discovered 2000 Mar 11 by the Catalina Sky Survey: Christopher Go (b. 1970) is a Philippine Astrophotographer who has taken superb images of the moon and planets since 1990. His detailed images of eclipses of the Galilean moons of Jupiter attest to the excellent quality of his work with a 0.28m telescope. In 2006 he discovered the Red Spot Jr on Jupiter.
I hope more Filipino names (not just in asteroids) in the near future!
To the stars!