Villa-Lobos in Space 3K GIF: Villa Lobos logo

Villa-Lobos in Space


November, 2004:

Please note that the Villa-Lobos Website is no longer being updated.

This resource will remain on the RDPL server.

Animated GIF (cool space scene) - (c)MHarris
Did you know there's a minor planet (an asteroid) named after Villa-Lobos?  This information comes from the The Minor Planet Center (MPC,) which operates at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory, under the auspices of Commission 20 of the International Astronomical Union (IAU.) 
The designation is (7244) Villa-Lobos  = 1991 PQ1.  (7244) Villa-Lobos was discovered by E.W. Elst at the European Southern Observatory in La Silla, Chile, on August 5, 1991. 
As I learned from the excellent European Southern Observatory's website: 
    "Asteroids are small solid planetary bodies revolving around the Sun in orbits that are mostly located in the so-called Main Asteroid Belt, confined between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Most of them are thought to be fragments derived from catastrophic, past collisions between larger asteroids. By mid-1997, the orbits of about 8000 asteroids in the solar system were sufficiently well known to allow them to be officially numbered by the rules of the International Astronomical Union."
Villa-Lobos is in good company.  Browsing through the MPC Name List of Minor Planets, I found: 
(4382) Stravinsky
(1034) Mozartia
(4527) Schoenberg
(4134) Schutz
(4345) Rachmaninoff
(4734) Rameau
(4040) Purcell
(3159) Prokof'ev
(4850) Palestrina
(4972) Pachelbel
(3954) Mendelssohn
(4148) McCartney
(1405) Sibelius
(3992) Wagner
(4579) Puccini
(3975) Verdi
There are plenty more: astronomers seem to be quite a musical lot.   The MPC website includes a page of Rock and Rollers who have minor planets named for them. 
I haven't been able to track down a picture of (7244) Villa-Lobos yet, but here's one of (4150) Starr - an asteroid named for Ringo Starr, about 7-15 km. in diameter, in orbit about 300 million miles from the sun. 
Any astronomers out there who have new information to add, or who can correct any mistakes I've made, please let me know. 
[Thanks to Maria-Laura Harris for the animated image above - the image is copyrighted 1997, Maria-Laura Harris, all rights reserved.  Check out her Animal Hut page of images.] 
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