A minor planet, or asteroid, is smaller than a dwarf planet; it’s an odd-shaped solid orb that is revolving around a star. The asteroid number 137066 was discovered by Krisztián Sárneczky and László Kiss on 23 November 1998 and was later named Gellért-hegy (Gellért Hill) to commemorate the short lived Uraniae observatory that was inaugurated 200th years ago last year, writes welovebudapest.com.
The object was first discovered on 23 November 1998 by Kisztián Sárneczky and László Kiss, but they could only track the asteroid for 2 months. It was found again during the turn of 2001/2002 and was observed several times in 2005 and 2006 as well from several places, such as the Mátra observatory. As the asteroid was observed for four years it could finally receive a serial number in 2006.
The asteroid, which rounds the Sun in 2.7 years, was named after the Gellért Hill in 2015 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Uraniae observatory’s inauguration. The Uraniae had a rather short life (October 1815 – May 1849); it was damaged during the 1848-49 Revolution and was completely demolished in 1867.
Krisztián Sárneczky, one of the discoverers told welovebudapest.com that normally a long time passes between the discovery of a new planet and the naming of it. Sárneczky said that those can be considered as discoverers who are the first to detect an object and also can identify it on two different nights. If it was observed in two different years and there is no earlier trace of the planet in the archives then we can be considered discoverers. However, the planet still has to be observed for two more years to get a serial number.
Sárneczky also said that if the asteroid has been around for the required time, then, the International Astronomic Union’s (IAU) assigned organization, the Minor Planet Center, gives the object a serial number, and the discoverer has exclusive rights for 10 years to name it. The official committee is represented by many countries and there are only minor rules for the naming of an object: it can be named after politicians and soldiers only if the person already retired from active duty at least 100 years ago and, apart from pet names, people are free to name the planets however they want.
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