|Discovery and designation|
|Discovered by||Felix Hormuth|
|Discovery date||February 7, 1998|
|Minor planet category||Main belt|
|Epoch May 19, 2011 (JD 2455700.5)|
|Aphelion||462.727 Gm (3.093 AU)|
|Perihelion||299.534 Gm (2.002 AU)|
|Semi-major axis||381.130 Gm (2.548 AU)|
|Orbital period||1485.321 d (4.07 a)|
|Average orbital speed||18.44 km/s|
|Longitude of ascending node||319.522°|
|Mean density||? g/cm³|
|Equatorial surface gravity||? m/s²|
|Equatorial escape velocity||? km/s|
|Sidereal rotation period||? d|
|Pole ecliptic latitude||?|
|Pole ecliptic longitude||?|
|Absolute magnitude (H)||14.4|
18610 Arthurdent is a small main belt asteroid, discovered by Felix Hormuth of Starkenburg Observatory on February 7, 1998. It is named after Arthur Dent, the bewildered hero of Douglas Adams's radio play and book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
The naming of this asteroid was announced by the Minor Planet Center in Minor Planet Circular MPC 42677 on May 9, 2001. Two days later, on May 11, 2001, Adams died of a heart attack in Santa Barbara, California. The near coincidence of these events led to some media reports of the asteroid naming appearing after Adams's death was reported, and to assumptions that the two events occurred on the same day, even by those connected to the naming.
You may have heard the sad news that Douglas Adams passed away last Friday. By accident on the same day the naming of minor planet (18610) Arthurdent was announced by the Minor Planet Center. We wanted to make Mr. Adams a joy, but did never dare to think that he wouldn't be able to receive this surprise, when we sent our name proposal to the MPC a few months back.
The naming citation reads:
(18610) Arthurdent = 1998 CC2
- Discovered 1998 Feb. 7 at Starkenburg Observatory.
- The earthling Arthur Dent is confronted with the adversities of life, the universe and everything in a highly amusing and entertaining way in Douglas Adam's [sic] famous five-volume trilogy The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
- List of minor planets: 18001–19000
- 25924 Douglasadams, an asteroid named after the character's creator.
- Discovery Circumstances: Numbered Minor Planets (15001)-(20000)
- Citation for (18610)
- Planetary tribute to Hitch Hiker author as Arthurdent named (Tim Radford, The Guardian, Wednesday, May 16, 2001)
- "New Names of Minor Planets", Minor Planet Circular (Cambridge, Mass: Minor Planet Center) (MPC 42677), May 9, 2001, ISSN 0736-6884
- CCNet 67/2001 – 14 May 2001
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