Look up!

What an honor: Jeff Medkeff, an astronomer and discoverer of asteroids, has been generous to name a recently discovered set of distant rocks after Michael Stackpole, Rebecca Watson, Phil Plait, and me. That’s right, there is now a few billion tons of rock and metal spinning overhead with my name on it, asteroid 153298 Paulmyers. You can find a picture of its orbit and location, just in case you want to visit.

Now I don’t know much about astronomy — I know this rock doesn’t have any squid on it, unfortunately, and that it’s small, cold, and remote (hey, just like where I am now! Only more so!) — but Phil Plait describes the details of his asteroid.

To give you an idea of the asteroid’s size, it has more than 200 times the volume of Hoover Dam. Assuming that it’s made of rock, it has a mass of about 2 quadrillion grams, or about 2 billion tons. If it’s metal it’ll be about twice that massive.

When I mentioned this to Skatje, the first thing she asked was whether mine was bigger than Phil’s. Phil admits that it probably is twice the size, although it’s an estimate from relative brightness, so it could be that they’re of similar size, but mine is brighter, or Phil’s is dimmer … it’s all good. The rivalry continues!

Now I have to wonder…do I have mineral rights? Can I at least retire to 153298 Paulmyers? When’s the next space bus to the asteroid belt? How about some photos of my rock (near as I can tell, any photo is going to be just of a tiny point of reflected light)?


  1. #1 David Marjanovi?, OM
    March 25, 2008

    Congratulations! That’s as close to an apotheosis as you’re likely to get :o)

    What a sad day for science. He should have named the asteroid after Nisbet.

    :-D :-D :-D

  2. #2 Torbjörn Larsson, OM
    March 25, 2008

    Sorry, no space buses; personal rocketry hasn’t any kind of beltway.

    Can’t we just accept that astronomy and biology constitute nonoverlapping magisteria?

    You should return that to your company ink tank, it smells fishy – because we live on an astronomical body. Seems empiricism joins these two disparate subjects and shows that superlife is a dead option.

    @ Chris: