The Minor Planet Center has paid tribute to the late, great Leonard Nimoy by officially giving Asteroid 4864 the name Nimoy. The asteroid, which orbits the sun once every 3.9 years, measures about 6 miles wide and can be found in the main belt between Mars and Jupiter. Originally designated 1988 RA5, the asteroid was discovered on September 2, 1988, by the Belgian astroner Henri Debehogne. According to an article in Universe Today, come mid-July, amateur astronomers with 14-inch or larger telescopes might glimpse Nimoy when it brightens to magnitude 15.

For the record, the Minor Planet Center is the single worldwide location for receipt and distribution of positional measurements of minor planets, comets and outer irregular natural satellites of the major planets. The MPC operates at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, under the auspices of Division F of the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

And for a bit of trivia that Mr. Spock might consider fascinating, another asteroid called 1971 QX1 was named Mr. Spock when it was discovered in 1971 by James Gibson. However, Gibson apparently named it for his... cat.


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