Asteroids named after four Chinese scientists

15:33, May 05, 2010      

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Four asteroids have been named after Chinese scientists Wu Wenjun, Jin Yilian, Wang Yongzhi, and Ye Duzheng at a naming ceremony in Beijing on May 4, 2010.

They are the four winners of China's Top National Science and Technology Award (also known as China's Nobel Prize). The attendees at the ceremony included Wan Gang, minister of Science and Technology, and Zhan Wenlong, vice president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Wan said that the award winners, as prominent representatives of Chinese scientists, embody lofty patriotic sentiments and the fine tradition of continual self-improvement. Naming asteroids after the four winners will not only allow more people to know of their praiseworthy achievements but also greatly encourages more creative talent to stand out.

Sources said that asteroids are the only type of astronomical objects which can be named by its discoverer if the name is approved by the Committee on Small Body Nomenclature (CSBN) under the International Astronomical Union.

The earnestness, uniqueness, and unchangeableness have made asteroid-naming an internationally recognized glory. The asteroids named after the four award winners were discovered by a team from the Schmidt CCD Asteroid Program of the National Astronomical Observatory under the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and have received permanent numbers. In addition, the names of the four asteroids have been approved by the CSBN.

There have been 16 winners of the Top National Science and Technology Award since the award was established in 1999. Another four winners, Yuan Longping, Wang Xuan, Liu Dongsheng and Gu Chaohao, already had asteroids named after them.

By People's Daily Online


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