James Whitney Young

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James W. Young
Born (1941-01-24) 24 January 1941 (age 73)
Portland, Oregon
Fields Astronomy

James Whitney Young (January 24, 1941) is an American astronomer who worked in the field of asteroid research. After nearly 47 years with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at their Table Mountain Facility, Young retired July 16, 2009.

He was a very prolific asteroid observer of both physical properties and astrometric positions, and had discovered some 390 main belt asteroids since 2002, as well as two NEOs ( 2003 BV35 and 2003 RW11), two Trojan asteroids (2002 VQ and 2003 FE42), three Mars crossers, (2005 SA, 2005 SB, and 2007 WX3), and one extra-galactic supernova (SN 2004eg).

Biography[edit]

Asteroids discovered: 237
(115485) 2003 UR19 October 22, 2003
(116903) 2004 GW April 11, 2004
(128621) 2004 RD September 2, 2004
(129066) 2004 VY28 November 7, 2004
(134010) 2004 VW28 November 7, 2004
(143052) 2002 WY2 November 24, 2002
(145166) 2005 JL May 3, 2005
(147735) 2005 NE July 2, 2005
(147799) 2005 RA34 September 15, 2005
(149450) 2003 CE14 February 6, 2003
(149976) 2005 UO6 October 24, 2005
(152212) 2005 RG September 1, 2005
(152471) 2005 WE1 November 21, 2005
(158621) 2003 BJ January 20, 2003
(161384) 2003 UK25 October 24, 2003
(163950) 2003 UN22 October 23, 2003
(166609) 2002 RF232 September 8, 2002
(170025) 2002 VO November 2, 2002
(170026) 2002 VV2 November 4, 2002
(170027) 2002 VH5 November 5, 2002
(171287) 2006 GK3 April 7, 2006
(172460) 2003 RT11 September 15, 2003
(172533) 2003 UO9 October 20, 2003
(172627) 2003 XP10 December 9, 2003
(173075) 2006 UC October 16, 2006
(174758) 2003 VX2 November 14, 2003
(177065) 2003 FP7 March 30, 2003
(177245) 2003 WB November 17, 2003
(177625) 2004 JD May 8, 2004
(180103) 2003 FX6 March 26, 2003
(180213) 2003 UM8 October 19, 2003
(180216) 2003 UY9 October 20, 2003
(180537) 2004 EB1 March 14, 2004
(180731) 2004 JW35 May 13, 2004
(181492) 2006 UU1 October 16, 2006
(183309) 2002 VQ November 2, 2002
(183501) 2003 FU4 March 25, 2003
(184064) 2004 GM April 10, 2004
(186728) 2004 CH2 February 12, 2004
(187304) 2005 UV October 23, 2005
(188588) 2005 NP29 July 8, 2005
(188721) 2005 UU October 23, 2005
(189944) 2003 TX October 3, 2003
(190118) 2004 VR60 November 10, 2004
(191323) 2003 KN May 22, 2003
(191485) 2003 TO2 October 7, 2003
(191621) 2004 MN3 June 19, 2004
(196297) 2003 FA March 21, 2003
(196926) 2003 UG5 October 18, 2003
(199742) 2006 JD May 1, 2006
(202084) 2004 SE56 September 30, 2004
(206462) 2003 TN10 October 15, 2003
(206755) 2004 CJ2 February 12, 2004
(207028) 2004 VN60 November 10, 2004
(207548) 2006 LZ June 4, 2006
(207690) 2007 RE19 September 14, 2007
(209635) 2005 BR1 January 17, 2005
(211480) 2003 FC7 March 26, 2003
(211489) 2003 KP May 22, 2003
(211536) 2003 RR11 September 15, 2003
(211917) 2004 TG8 October 4, 2004
(213727) 2002 VF92 November 13, 2002
(213893) 2003 TN2 October 7, 2003
(213894) 2003 TP2 October 8, 2003
(216242) 2006 VK14 November 15, 2006
(216780) 2006 QP57 August 27, 2006
(217425) 2005 RF September 1, 2005
(218653) 2005 SB134 September 30, 2005
(220397) 2003 RK10 September 12, 2003
(220578) 2004 JG May 8, 2004
(220634) 2004 QC25 August 30, 2004
(221019) 2005 PH17 August 13, 2005
(221332) 2005 WB2 November 22, 2005
(221778) 2007 KC May 16, 2007
(223349) 2003 RP11 September 15, 2003
(223907) 2004 VO60 November 10, 2004
(223908) 2004 VQ60 November 10, 2004
(224067) 2005 NO29 July 8, 2005
(226331) 2003 FL March 22, 2003
(226810) 2004 RL222 September 14, 2004
(227331) 2005 UW October 23, 2005
(229368) 2005 RC3 September 5, 2005
(229616) 2006 DK68 February 23, 2006
(230550) 2003 BM January 21, 2003
(230737) 2003 WX7 November 18, 2003
(231463) 2007 PO August 5, 2007
(232595) 2003 UP9 October 20, 2003
(232936) 2005 BX2 January 19, 2005
(233332) 2006 CS10 February 8, 2006
(233749) 2008 TF3 October 2, 2008
(238022) 2002 VE5 November 5, 2002
(239313) 2007 RM16 September 13, 2007
(240556) 2004 RQ164 September 8, 2004
(242640) 2005 ND July 2, 2005
(245486) 2005 PF17 August 13, 2005
(248904) 2006 VE November 1, 2006
(250711) 2005 RZ33 September 15, 2005
(250907) 2005 WK November 19, 2005
(253333) 2003 FA7 March 26, 2003
(253383) 2003 KA May 20, 2003
(253859) 2004 AL January 11, 2004
(254157) 2004 PT92 August 12, 2004
(255307) 2005 WR November 20, 2005
(255743) 2006 RV September 4, 2006
(256128) 2006 VD November 1, 2006
(256602) 2007 VO1 November 2, 2007
(259615) 2003 VZ2 November 14, 2003
(259680) 2003 XC11 December 13, 2003
(260097) 2004 MX3 June 22, 2004
(260384) 2004 VP60 November 10, 2004
(260835) 2005 QD29 August 29, 2005
(261932) 2006 MU1 June 19, 2006
(261984) 2006 QT23 August 22, 2006
(265031) 2003 OT July 21, 2003
(265526) 2005 NA July 1, 2005
(267625) 2002 RD232 September 11, 2002
(267767) 2003 RJ10[1] September 3, 2003
(270920) 2002 UT October 25, 2002
(271110) 2003 RO11 September 15, 2003
(271474) 2004 FG6 March 24, 2004
(273959) 2007 KX1 May 18, 2007
(273995) 2007 OB July 16, 2007
(274335) 2008 RW22 September 5, 2008
(276361) 2002 VG5 November 5, 2002
(276471) 2003 KL3 May 23, 2003
(277029) 2005 CG7 February 4, 2005
(278734) 2008 SN82 September 23, 2008
(278736) 2008 SX84 September 28, 2008
(281235) 2007 JE36 May 15, 2007
(281445) 2008 SS84 September 2, 2008
(287374) 2002 VR November 2, 2002
(287417) 2002 WX2 November 24, 2002
(287577) 2003 FE42 March 31, 2003
(287842) 2003 SX219 September 29, 2003
(288425) 2004 EE March 11, 2004
(288474) 2004 FE6 March 24, 2004
(288691) 2004 QE August 16, 2004
(288703) 2004 RE September 2, 2004
(288957) 2004 TJ9 October 7, 2004
(290002) 2005 PC17 August 12, 2005
(290183) 2005 SZ4 September 25, 2005
(291399) 2006 CD60 February 11, 2006
(293605) 2007 KB May 16, 2007
(295035) 2008 EU83 March 12, 2008
(295442) 2008 LU16 June 15, 2008
(298635) 2004 BM41 January 23, 2004
(298793) 2004 QE3 August 18, 2004
(299291) 2005 PK17 August 13, 2005
(299453) 2006 BS55 January 22, 2006
(299509) 2006 CJ10 February 7, 2006
(299693) 2006 QZ110 August 30, 2006
(301021) 2008 SJ11 September 23, 2008
(303265) 2004 RH111 September 8, 2004
(303452) 2005 BL14 January 20, 2005
(306209) 2011 QZ18 March 26, 2003
(309524) 2007 XG24 December 15, 2007
(311831) 2006 VS13 November 13, 2006
(313892) 2004 JF November 13, 2006
(314457) 2005 WL November 20, 2005
(319134) 2005 YV8 December 20, 2005
(319798) 2006 VJ14 November 15, 2006
(320088) 2007 EX87 March 14, 2007
(323552) 2004 TB October 2, 2004
(324275) 2006 CH10 February 4, 2006
(327009) 2004 RK84 September 10, 2004
(327421) 2005 WP November 20, 2005
(327552) 2006 CO10 February 4, 2006
(329740) 2003 YP117 December 17, 2003
(329778) 2004 MA4 June 22, 2004
(329876) 2005 BT2 January 19, 2005
(330226) 2006 JU26 May 7, 2006
(330476) 2007 FH6 August 17, 2004
(330697) 2008 KZ11 May 29, 2008
(335014) 2004 JJ May 8, 2004
(335028) 2004 PU92 August 11, 2004
(335332) 2005 RD September 1, 2005
(335466) 2005 WQ November 20, 2005
(338400) 2003 BK August 11, 2004
(339384) 2005 BZ1 January 18, 2005
(339385) 2005 BU2 January 19, 2005
(341868) 2008 GU1 April 4, 2008
(343399) 2010 CE170 February 14, 2004
(344595) 2003 CN11 February 5, 2003
(344830) 2004 FE18 March 25, 2004
(346391) 2008 SV84 September 28, 2008
(347901) 2002 VD5 November 4, 2002
(347932) 2003 FW4 March 25, 2003
(348172) 2004 MY7 June 29, 2004
(349766) 2009 AH43 January 7, 2009
(350968) 2003 CH14 February 6, 2003
(351235) 2004 PW92 August 11, 2004
(351677) 2006 AM78 January 11, 2006
(354835) 2005 YB December 19, 2005
(359771) 2011 UV127 September 1, 2006
(364166) 2006 JB May 1, 2006
(364819) 2008 CB2 February 2, 2008
(371789) 2007 OE3 July 21, 2007
(372232) 2008 UR91 October 28, 2008
(373986) 2004 AK January 11, 2004
(374404) 2005 WM November 20, 2005
(377081) 2002 VA1 November 3, 2002
(378266) 2007 ED10 Marcy 10, 2007
(378370) 2007 ON5 July 24, 2007
(378918) 2008 UQ91 October 28, 2008
(380522) 2004 GK April 10, 2004
(382979) 2005 BK14 January 20, 2005
(383620) 2007 NG3 July 13, 2007
(386087) 2007 OD3 July 21, 2007
(387730) 2003 FF42 March 31, 2003
(388018) 2005 SA26 September 29, 2005
(391766) 2008 FA March 19, 2008
(391796) 2008 RH78 September 10, 2008
(400291) 2007 TS69 October 14, 2007
  1. 1 with A. Grigsby

James W. Young (aka Jim Young) was born in Portland, Oregon and recently retired as the resident astronomer of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory's Table Mountain Observatory (TMO) near Wrightwood, California having been with them for 47 years.

Young was the lead technical guide at the NASA exhibit of the Seattle World's Fair during 1962. It was there he was encouraged to apply for an 'assistant observer' and 'darkroom technician' position at the recently developed Table Mountain Observatory with its new 16-inch (410 mm) telescope which had just begun full operations in late 1962.

Table Mountain Observatory[edit]

Along with Charles F. Capen, Jr. (TMO's first resident astronomer), Young carried out photographic synoptic patrols using specific colors (UV through IR) of Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. Several technical reports were published of 'patrol' images of Mars during two Martian apparitions (1964–65 and 1966–67). The 1964 inferior conjunction of Venus was well observed from TMO. Color astrophotography was carefully investigated for planetary imaging using recently developed high speed color film emulsions.

With the newly (1966) installed 24-inch (610 mm) Cassegrain/Coudé telescope, Young began his asteroid observations with JPL astronomers, Ellis D. Miner and Alan W. Harris. Asteroid rotational rates became his speciality soon thereafter and by 1980, over 30 publications in Icarus with Alan W. Harris resulted in nearly half of the (then) known rotational rates of these small solar system bodies.

With the advent of powerful lasers, Young became involved with several projects that aimed lasers successfully, first at the Surveyor VII spacecraft on the Moon (1968), later as two laser ranging programs developed at JPL in the 1990s found their marks on low and high earth orbiting satellites, and finally to the Galileo spacecraft some 6 million kilometers from Earth. In each case, Young was responsible for aiming/tracking the 24-inch (610 mm) telescope on each successive target.

Hypersensitization[edit]

Other noteworthy projects Young was involved in included the 1969 installation of a large planetary spectrograph utilizing the Coudé focus of the 24-inch (610 mm) telescope. Spectroscoptic studies of the planet Venus were carried out by JPL astronomers, Andrew and Louise Young, with Jim Young assisting with hypersensitization of Eastman Kodak IR spectroscoptic glass plates. Jim Young developed a new technique of cold storage for these extremely sensitive plates. His experimentation of 'clean' and properly washed plates, stored at −70 °C. for over two years, were without increased noise or loss of sensitivity. Previous experimenters could manage around a two month reliability.

2-Micron All Sky Survey[edit]

In 1998, Young was asked to be an official observer for the 2-Micron All Sky Survey (2MASS), a joint venture of CalTech (California Institute of Technology) and the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMass). Young carried out observations for this project at Mount Hopkins (south of Tucson, Arizona) and at the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory (CTIO) in Chile until 2000, all the while maintaining his full Table Mountain Observatory responsibilities for JPL.

Near Earth Objects[edit]

Late in 2002, Young began his last asteroid research, centering around NEOs and comets that have been discovered by several NASA funded NEO search teams such as NEAT, LINEAR, LONEOS, Catalina Sky Survey (CSS), and Spacewatch. With the use of Astrometrica software, Young become an extremely prolific astrometrist for the Minor Planet Center (MPC) of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The director of the MPC, Dr. Brian G. Marsden called Young the third most accurate and reliable observer in the world then. He also co-authored and authored over 1500 MPECs (Minor Planet Electronic Circulars) and IAUCs (International Astronomical Union Circulars) during these last 7 years at JPL. NASA awarded Young a three-year grant to further his studies of NEOs and comets for JPL and the MPC during the last years before his retirement.

In 2003 Young accepted a new responsibility as 'Astronomy Team Leader' at Table Mountain, and supervised a staff of three employees in maintaining two optical telescopes (0.4 and 0.6 meter cassegrain systems), four CCD cameras, and a computer network of over 20 computers. Young maintained the optical performance of the telescopes, and the vacuum requirements for the CCD cameras. He also was in charge of the telescope scheduling for all visiting astronomers and his staff. TMO recently placed their new on-line webpage for all users as well as the public (see below link).

Outreach[edit]

Young taught an astronomy extension course for the University of California, Riverside in 1969 and 1970 specifically for high school and junior college teachers and educators.

Young frequently lectures about his work to youth, school, civic, and church groups around the western USA. In 2006 He attended the International Astronomical Union's (IAU) General Assembly 2006 in Prague, Czech Republic. Young gave a presentation on his activities taking astrometric observations of NEOs and comets at Table Mountain Observatory in the S236 Symposium on August 14. Young, and his wife Karen (a HS Science and Math teacher), hold annual star-parties for their local communities as an Outreach Program. The 13th annual event, was held on October 15, 2010. The event was attended by approximately 80 people, with many school children, parents, and Boy Scouts present. With six telescopes, many from members of the High Desert Astronomical Society (HiDAS), participants viewed the moon, and later when the clouds cleared in the east, a shadow transit of Io across Jupiter's cloud surface was seen.

Mr. Young spoke at the Imiloa Astronomy Center in Hilo, Hawaii on December 23, 2010. Young's presentation, entitled "The First Asteroid Discovery to Near-Earth Hazards" featured Scott Manley's visualization titled, '1980-2010 Asteroid Discoveries', a six-minute version (made especially for this presentation, with a re-mix of the music "Transgenic" from Trifonic Music, LLC). Still in Hilo, Mr. Young also gave an evening fireside at the Hilo Stake Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, entitled, "The Creation as Viewed by an Astronomer". This same fireside was given in Dallas, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; and Medina, Ohio in May, 2011.

On the afternoon of June 5, Young held a viewing of the Venus transit from Wrightwood, California for the local community. Mr. Young's 6-inch telescope was used with a solar filter for the 80-100 people who attended, as well as photography to record the event with a 2000mm telephoto lens.

Honors[edit]

Minor planet 2874 Jim Young is named in his honor.

Memberships and affiliations[edit]

Type Organization
Full Member American Astronomical Society (AAS)

Asteroid meanings[edit]

Numbered asteroids discovered given permanent names: 25

Asteroid Names
Number Name Meaning Discovered Notes
78577 JPL Named for the NASA facility where Young was employed from 1962 to 2009. September 10, 2002
84882 Table Mountain Named for Young's actual work place Table Mountain Observatory, near Wrightwood, California. February 1, 2003
90525 Karijanberg Named for Young's wife, Karen (1953-) and her parents, Richard (1928–1978) and Janet (1932–1997). March 17, 2004
95939 Thagnesland Named for Young’s maternal grandparents, Thaddeus (1866–1921) and Agnes (1877–1961) Vreeland. May 30, 2003
114239 Bermarmi Named for Young’s parents, Bernard (1911–1988) and Mary (1912–1996), and well as his brother, Michael (1937-). November 21, 2002
115312 Whither Named for Whitney and Heather Young, granddaughters of James Young; two children of son, Jeffrey. September 19, 2003
115477 Brantanica Named for Brandon, Brittany and Monica, grandchildren of James Young, and the three children of daughter, Jennifer. October 19, 2003
115891 Scottmichael Named for Scott and Michael, grandchildren of James Young, two children of son, Jeffrey. November 14, 2003
116446 McDermid Named for Stuart McDermid (1952-), a JPL Science Division senior research scientist responsible for development of the LIDAR facility at Table Mountain Observatory for atmospheric analysis studies. January 5, 2004
116903 Jeromeapt Named for Jerome (Jay) Apt (1949-), Former director of JPL's Table Mountain Observatory, retired NASA astronaut who flew 4 missions

on the International Space Station, and currently a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania.

April 11, 2004
120038 Franlainsher Named for Young's first wife, Frances (1944-) and her sister, Elaine (1947-) Fisher. January 26, 2003
120174 Jeffjenny Named for Young's first children (with Frances), Jeffrey (1966-) and Jennifer (1967-). May 23, 2003
128297 Ashlevi Named for Ashlie Philpott and Levi Lemley, grandchildren of James Young, and children of daughter, Eileen. December 13, 2003
133280 Bryleen Named for Young's second set of children (with Karen), Bryan (1976-) and Eileen (1979-). September 18, 2003
133527 Fredearly Named for Young's paternal grandparents, Frederick (1889–1974) and Pearl Young (1888–1958). October 5, 2003
142084 Jamesdaniel Named for James (1951–1978) and Daniel (1957-), the two sons of Bob and Hazel Sealy. August 26, 2002
144692 Katemary Named for Young's granddaughter, Katelyn Anne Marie Young, the daughter of Jim's son, Bryan. April 9, 2004
147397 Bobhazel Named for Bob (1927–2002) and Hazel (1930-) Sealy, longtime residents of Seaside, Oregon. The Sealy family were, in part, very instrumental in Jim Young's long astronomy career starting from Jim's annual summer vacations in Seaside. Bob Sealy was an amateur astronomer, and started the Seaside Amateur Astronomer's Society, as well as taught astronomy classes at Clatsop Community College in Astoria, Oregon. Hazel Sealy was very active in the Miss Oregon Pageant in the 1950s and 60s, and still is an active member of local community affairs. James Sealy tragically lost his life in a boating accident in the ocean waters just outside Seaside on July 8, 1978. Daniel is an amateur astronomer, ham radio operator, and community member while residing in Astoria, Oregon, along with his wife and two children. March 30, 2003
150035 Williamson Named for Bruce Williamson (1953-), machinist at the Table Mountain Facility. November 20, 2005
158899 Malloryvale Named for Mallory Vale (1986-), a 2004 summer student at Table Mountain Observatory, who will be graduating from Northern Arizona University with a BS degree in astronomy in the Spring of 2009. August 17, 2004
163626 Glatfelter Named for Pam Glatfelter (1955-), the operational site manager for the Table Mountain Facility. October 27, 2002 outer main-belt asteroid
185641 Judd Named for Michele Judd (1965-), a Senior Engineer of JPL's Science Division who left JPL in 2008 to become the Managing Director of the Keck Institute for Space Studies at Caltech. March 5, 2008
198110 Heathrhoades Named for Heath Rhoades (1972-), the telescope computer network administrator and programmer at Table Mountain Observatory. September 17, 2004
201777 Deronda Named for Deronda Mayes (1957-), assistant astronomer at Table Mountain Observatory. November 24, 2003
221019 Raine Named for Raine Ann Krecic (2011-), granddaughter of James Young, and child of daughter, Eileen. August 13, 2005

External links[edit]