Time：Mar 30, 2022
Approaching its 70th anniversary, Huazhong University of Science and Technology received a birthday gift from the universe. Approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the National Astronomical Observatories of China(CAS ) announced that the permanent designation of the asteroid coded 52487 was awarded to HUST.
On March 21st, an asteroid naming ceremony was held both online and offline. Academician Chang Jin, director of the National Astronomical Observatories, Zhao Gang and Xue Suijian, chief researchers of the National Astronomical Observatories, Academician Li Yuanyuan, Chair of the University Committee, and Ma Jianhui, Vice Chair of the University Committee, attended the event. The relevant faculty from the School of Physics and the Office of the 70thAnniversary Celebration Events attended the event. Vice President Liang Qian presided over the ceremony.
Chang Jin declared the asteroid naming communiqué and the naming certificate. Xue Suijian introduced the basic information regarding the asteroid. Chang Jin and Li Yuanyuan jointly announced the name of the asteroid online.
The Asteroid Model
Li Yuanyuan unveiled the asteroid model. Adopting advanced magnetic levitation and 3D printing technologies, the model is the latest work by an alumni Peng Chuyao.As a young start-up enrepreneur, he presented the model as a gife to his alma mater to celebrate its 70thanniversary.
In his speech, Li Yuanyuan pointed out that it is extraordinary for HUST to be honored with an asteroid named after ‘Huazhongkejida’ (Chinese Pinyin of HUST), on the occasion of its 70th anniversary. This asteroid will become an ‘eternal star’ in the hearts of HUSTers, a reminder of the original mission of teaching and education. It will serve as a guide, as well as an engine, for all teachers, students, and alumni of HUST to make greater contributions to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation and the progress of human civilization. He hoped to take it as an opportunity to further strengthen the collaboration between HUST and the National Astronomical Observatories in cultivating talent and scientific research, and effectively promote the development of astronomical disciplines and technological innovation.
Asteroid Huazhongkejida (Chinese Pinyin of HUST) (1995 XO2), which was discovered on December 6th, 1995 by Zhu Jin, former director of the National Planetarium, and his team at the Xinglong Base of the National Astronomical Observatories, orbits between Mars and Jupiter with an orbital period of 3.37 years. The 52 in the number echoes the founding year of HUST (1952), and the homophonic “Wu Ai”, which means “my love”. The number 487 is consistent with the record number 10487 of HUST in the Ministry of Education.
Asteroids are the only celestial bodies that may be named by their discoverers. The naming is considered an international and permanent honor. The International Astronomical Union has strict rules and approval procedures for asteroid discoverers to obtain naming rights. As the asteroid naming is unique and immutable, it is a world-recognized honor to name an asteroid.
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