Skeptic History: Asteroids PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Tim Farley   

Last Halloween at CSICON in New Orleans, it was announced that an asteroid discovered by skeptic and astronomer James McGaha had been named to honor CSI investigator Joe Nickell. And just this month two more asteroids were named for Australian science communicators and skeptics "Doctor Karl" Kruszelnicki and Adam Spencer. These three are actually the latest in a long series of asteroids that have been named for skeptics or skeptic organizations.

The complete list of asteroids named for skeptics (in alphabetical order by namesake) is as follows, with their discovery dates:

The numbers are assigned sequentially as asteroids are discovered and verified. The names honor individuals or organizations.

You may have noticed one odd anomaly in that list. Why is the asteroid named to honor CSICOP called Skepticus? That was because of a rule against using acronyms in naming astronomical bodies.

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(This essay originally appeared in a slightly different form on Skepticality episode #124) 

Tim Farley is a Research Fellow for JREF.