PZ Myers Asteroid Confirmed

I believe I knew before PZ Myers did that an Asteroid had been named after him. I heard it on the radio. and much later on he confirmed it on his blog. See this post.

[Correction: He knew, he was just being cool. See this.]

Curiously, PZ claims that we do not know what the asteroid looks like. He relies on a description provided by his arch rival, Phil Plait. Why would he trust Phil Plait to describe his asteroid?

Anyway, I went into the NASA archives (to which I have special access because of my work on the robot problem) and dug out a pretty clear photograph of the asteroid. Here it is:



  1. #1 Coturnix
    March 25, 2008

    Is that a humongous egg-sac?

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    March 25, 2008

    No, man, it’s an asteroid with a squid sitting on it!!!!

  3. #3 Art
    March 25, 2008

    The End, or deliverance for the believers, is near. Our squiddy overlords have arrived. All will praise our tentacled overlords.*

    *(Under penalty of death, or at least a nasty squirt of ink in the face.)

  4. #4 Elizabeth
    March 25, 2008

    Should I ask the obvious question?

    Will this asteroid be the one that causes the next major extinction?

  5. #5 blue collar scientist
    March 25, 2008

    Actually, I told PZ about his asteroid on the phone Sunday night, well before we told any radio stations about it. I took care that he wouldn’t be blindsided by finding this out from the media.

    And yes, as the asteroid’s co-discoverer, I can tell you that your picture is right on; in fact, I believe that may be one of the discovery images!

  6. #6 Greg Laden
    March 25, 2008

    Ah, that is interesting, because I saw him Saturday night and he did not have his head in the clouds.

    Yes, that is one of the discovery images. As I say I have special access to the archives because of my 007 Robot Team status.

    But in all seriousness, I think that is a great thing that you’ve done. Making a contribution to science by discovering neighboring planetoids aside, recognizing people in this way is very cool.

  7. #7 Virgil Samms
    March 25, 2008

    Big deal. I once had an asterisk named after me.

  8. #8 Rick MacPherson
    March 25, 2008

    sorry i can’t resist:

    Rusty Griswald: Ya’ got Asteroids?
    Cousin Dale: Naw, but my dad does. Can’t even sit on the toilet some days.
    -National Lampoon’s Vacation

  9. #9 Caveat
    March 25, 2008

    Ha ha ha! Good one!

  10. #10 blue collar scientist
    March 25, 2008

    Thanks, Greg. I’ve been doing this (naming asteroids) for a few years now, and it is still a bit surreal to me that I would ever have this kind of opportunity. It is a real privilege.

  11. #11 Ian
    March 25, 2008

    He’s not really going to have it made until he gets a droid named after him. P2Z2….

  12. #12 Rev. BigDumbChimp
    March 26, 2008

    Should I ask the obvious question?

    Will this asteroid be the one that causes the next major extinction?

    If by extinct you mean it is the vehicle delivering our Squid Overlords to Earth resulting in our doom, then yes.