Michel Ory

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Michel Ory
Born (1966-04-18) 18 April 1966 (age 49)
Develier, Switzerland
Nationality Swiss
Occupation Amateur Astronomer, Teacher of Physics at the cantonal school Porrentruy
Known for discovering the periodic comet P/2008 Q2 Ory

Michel Ory (born 18 April 1966) is an amateur astronomer and was one of five winners of the 2009 Edgar Wilson Award for his discovery of periodic comet P/2008 Q2 Ory on 27 August 2008[1] with the 24-inch f/3.9 reflector[2] at the Jura Astronomical Observatory in Switzerland.[3] He is a teacher of physics at the cantonal school in Porrentruy, Switzerland.[3]


Ory was born in Develier, in the district of Delémont in the canton of Jura in Switzerland.[3] He attended school in Delémont, and at the cantonal school in Porrentruy,[4] then studied at the University of Geneva, graduating in physics in 1990.[3] He trained as a scientific journalist at Cedos SA in Carouge, qualifying in 1992, then undertook teacher training at the Institut pédagogique in Porrentruy, qualifying as a secondary school teacher in 1994, then becoming a physics teacher at the cantonal school in Porrentruy,[3] a position which he continues to hold in 2012.[5]

A keen amateur astronomer, he joined the Jura Astronomical Society in 1990 and between 1993 and 1998 he was one of the seven member-builders of the Jura Astronomical Observatory.[3]

Discovery of periodic comet P/2008 Q2 Ory[edit]

It was on the nights of 26–27 and 27–28 August 2008 that Ory discovered what he thought was a near-earth asteroid,[6] which he reported to the Minor Planet Center (MPC), Harvard.[3] At around 8:08 p.m. on August 28 he received notification from the Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams (CBAT) that the object was in fact a periodic comet: the announcement ran, "An apparently asteroidal object discovered by Michel Ory (Delemont, Switzerland, on CCD images obtained with a 0.61-m f/3.9 reflector at Vicques; discovery observation tabulated below), which was posted on the Minor Planet Center's 'NEOCP' webpage, has been found by other CCD observers to be cometary."[6]

The comet was named P/2008 Q2 Ory after him, and the CBAT announcement brought congratulations from around the world.[3] The comet orbits the sun in an elliptical orbit with a period of 5.96 years.[7]

Ory received the Edgar Wilson Award from the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory at Harvard University,[1] and later in 2008 a square in Viques was named Place de la Comète P/2008 Q2 Ory in honour of his discovery.[8]

Discoveries during 2000–2010[edit]

Michel Ory has made the following astronomical discoveries:[3]

Personal life[edit]

Ory is married and has two children.[3]


  1. ^ a b CfA Press Room (25 August 2009). "2009 Comet Awards Announced". Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Retrieved 19 Sep 2012. 
  2. ^ "Five Amateurs Win Comet Prize - News from Sky & Telescope - SkyandTelescope.com". skyandtelescope.com. 21 Sep 2012. Retrieved 21 Sep 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Emma Chatelain; Philippe Hebeisen (5 November 2010). "Ory, Michel (1966-)". Dictionnaire du Jura. Retrieved 20 Sep 2012. 
  4. ^ "Anciens bacheliers". Lycee Cantonal Porrentruy. Retrieved 21 Sep 2012. 
  5. ^ "Memento 12-13 élèves". CEJEF Division Lycéenne Lycée Cantonal. 16 August 2012. p. 13. Retrieved 21 Sep 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Michel Ory (15 September 2008). "Une comète découverte dans le Jura – Michel Ory ou la révolution « P/2008 Q2 Ory »". Société jurassienne d'Emulation. Retrieved 19 Sep 2012. 
  7. ^ "La comète P/2008 Q2 (Ory)". Jura-Observatory [Observatoire astronomique jurassien]. Retrieved 22 Sep 2012. 
  8. ^ "La comète Ory s'est posée à Vicques". RFJ, Radio Fréquence Jura. 13 December 2008. Retrieved 22 Sep 2012. 

External links[edit]