After years spent sparkling on stage before audiences around the world, Taiwan’s renowned Cloud Gate Dance Theatre has its own name in the heavens.
Asteroid “Cloud Gate” is a newly named celestial body announced by Taoyuan County-based National Central University April 29. Numbered 200025, it is the first space rock to be named after a local performing arts group.
“Cloud Gate’s asteroid is orbiting about 358 million kilometers from the sun in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter,” an NCU official said. “This is roughly about 500 million kilometers away from Earth.”
According to NCU, Lin Chih-sheng, an assistant at the university’s Lulin Observatory, and Ye Quanzhi, a student at Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, mainland China, discovered the space rock July 25, 2007.
NCU officials said Lulin Observatory, which was set up in Nantou County’s Yushan National Park in 1998, has discovered almost 1,000 asteroids. In 2006, the university launched its “Lulin Sky Survey” program, joining with the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy in identifying and tracking asteroids that might collide with Earth.
To date, the NCU has named 11 asteroids with the approval of the International Astronomical Union’s Committee for Small Body Nomenclature. These include, “Chiayi,” after the central Taiwan county, and “Wen Shi-ren,” in honor of the island’s best-known information technology entrepreneur and philanthropist. (PCT-JSM)
Quelle: Taiwan Today