A minor planet has been named after the legendary vocalist Pandit Jasraj. The planet is located between the orbit of Mars and Jupiter.
A minor planet located between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter has been named after the legendary vocalist Pandit Jasraj. The Padma Vibhushan awardee is a well-known figure of Indian classical music and has global fame. According to experts, Pandit Jasraj has given ‘Indian vocal classical music’ a global identity. Lovers of Indian classical music and fans of Pandit Jasraj believe that naming a celestial body after him will certainly honour his contribution to global art.
Minor planets are comparatively smaller bodies than planets and they revolve around the Sun but are not exactly spherical in shape. Such planets are thoroughly studied by astronomers before being named. Generally, in the case of small Solar System bodies, the discoverers enjoy the privilege of suggesting a name for them but significant bodies have to undergo a thorough analysis by the experts.
Here is all that you need to know about a Minor Planet and the way it is given a name:
Minor planet definition:
Minor planets are comparatively smaller celestial objects than Planets. They orbit the Sun and are not large enough for their gravity to pull them into a spherical shape. The shape of a minor planet or a ‘small Solar System body’ is the factor that distinguishes them from planets or ‘dwarf planets’, which are almost spherical in shape. The celestial bodies which are categorised as Small Solar System bodies include asteroids, comets, and several other celestial objects that orbit the Sun.
Process of naming Minor Planets:
A special committee at the International Astronomical Union (IAU) approves the names of celestial bodies. International Astronomical Union (IAU) is a global organisation of professional astronomers. The body also decides on definitions of fundamental astronomical and physical constants.
If a smaller Solar System body has been discovered by someone, then he has the privilege to suggest a name for it. The discoverer holds this privilege for a period lasting for 10 years from the day of discovery. But, even in such cases, a proper procedure needs to be followed for naming the celestial object as not all names are acceptable.
When a new celestial body is identified, a provisional name is given to it. The year of discovery followed by two letters of the alphabet and two numbers are the main components of the provisional name. Media reports suggested that the Minor planet which has been named after Pandit Jasraj was initially named as ‘2006VP32’.
More information about the body is collected after its observation to process for allocation of a permanent number to it. The information which contributes to the allocation of a permanent number are mainly related to the orbit of the body and number of occasions it has been sighted. And, only after the body has been sighted on at least four occasions, it becomes entitled to have a permanent number. The Minor planet named after Pandit Jasraj was allocated ‘300128’ as a permanent number as cited in media reports.
Rules and requirements of naming a Minor Planet:
The nomenclature procedure of a celestial body has certain rules and regulations to follow. Also, there are restrictions on the names that could be suggested for the nomenclature of a celestial body. The character limit for naming a celestial body is 16. The suggested name should contain less than or equal to 16 characters. Also, it should be ‘non-offensive’, and vary from existing names.
The name relating to anything or anyone, which is political or military will only be accepted after 100 years of its existence. Attributing any celestial body with name pets or of commercial nature is discouraged. The location of the celestial bodies also play a role in their nomenclature and there are certain norms and restrictions related to it.