Asteroid named after Pandit Jasraj | 30 Sep 2019

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named an asteroid, discovered in 2006, after Indian classical singer Pandit Jasraj.

  • Pandit Jasraj is the first Indian musician to receive this honour.
  • The asteroid, or more formally known as a minor planet - 2006 VP32, is located in the asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter.
    • The asteroid belt is a region of the solar system falling roughly between the planets Mars and Jupiter where the greatest concentration of asteroids can be found.
    • It also serves as a sort of dividing line between the inner rocky planets and outer gas giants.
  • It was discovered on 11th November 2006 by the Catalina Sky Survey.
    • The Catalina Sky Survey (CSS) is a NASA funded project to discover and track near-Earth objects (NEOs). It is based in Arizona in the United States.
    • Near-Earth objects (NEOs) are asteroids or comets with sizes ranging from metres to tens of kilometres that orbit the Sun and whose orbits come close to that of Earth’s.
  • As minor planet discoveries are confirmed, they are given a permanent number by IAU's Minor Planet Centre.
    • 'Panditjasraj' minor planet can be seen on their official website with the number 300128, his date of birth in reverse order (28/01/30).
  • Pandit Jasraj is an exponent of Indian classical vocal music. He is the recipient of numerous awards, honours, and titles, including the prestigious Padma Vibhushan and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.

International Astronomical Union

  • The International Astronomical Union (IAU) was founded in 1919, headquartered in Paris, France.
  • Its mission is to promote and safeguard the science of astronomy in all its aspects, including research, communication, education and development, through international cooperation.
  • It is the global authority for naming planetary features in the solar system.

Source: TH