[photo: (left to right) David F. Gray, James. M. Moorhead, Paul Wiegert, John R. de Bruyn, present Chair Shantanu Basu]
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Western University is happy
to announce that the International Astronomical Union has named
asteroids after the Chairs of the Departments of Physics and Astronomy
dating back to 1989.
Asteroids Wehlau, Moorcroft, Gray, Cottam, Moorhead, de Bruyn, and
Basu have been made official by the fifteen-person Working Group
for Small Body Nomenclature (CSBN) of the IAU. Asteroid
Landstreet was actually already named a decade ago. We as a
department are very happy to be able to join in in recognizing and
celebrating the tireless work and excellent research of our departmental
chairs throughout the years.
As part of the run-up to the Grand Opening ceremonies of the
newly-renovated Physics and Astronomy building, a brief ceremony to
announce the asteroid namings took place at 2:30 pm on Tuesday November
5th in the main-floor atrium.
Prior to the ceremony, a presentation to this year's W.H. Wehlau Award winner Tyler Desjardins was made by Professor Martin Houde.
The asteroid naming ceremony was hosted by Prof. Paul Wiegert. Attending the ceremony, and receiving commemorative plaques were past Chairs David F. Gray, John D. Landstreet, James Moorhead, and John de Bruyn, as well as present Chair Prof. Shantanu Basu.
Professor William H. Wehlau was deceased in 1995. His wife, Prof. Emerita Amelia F. Wehlau accepted the plaque on his behalf.
Professor Donald R. Moorcroft was unable to attend due to health, and Professor Michael G. Cottam was away on a research trip.
John Landstreet had been honoured with an asteroid naming previously, and already had his plaque.
The asteroids which were being named on this day had been discovered by Paul Wiegert at the Canada France Hawaii Telescope.
Details about the asteroids along with the official naming citations can
be found at the following links:
W. Wehlau, Chair of Astronomy 1966-1991
D. Moorcroft, Chair of Physics 1989-1996, then of Physics and Astronomy
D. Gray, Chair of Astronomy 1991-1992
M. Cottam, Chair of Physics and Astronomy 1998-2003
J. Moorhead, Chair of Physics and Astronomy 2003-2005
J. de Bruyn, Chair of Physics and Astronomy 2005-2010
S. Basu, Chair of Physics and Astronomy 2010-present
(previously named, J Landstreet, Chair of Astronomy from 1992-1996)
footnote: The Department of Physics was joined with the Department of
Astronomy in 1996 to form the Department of Physics and Astronomy