Carl A. Wirtanen

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Minor planets discovered: 8 [1]
1600 Vyssotsky October 22, 1947
1685 Toro July 17, 1948
1747 Wright July 14, 1947
1863 Antinous March 7, 1948
1951 Lick July 26, 1949
2044 Wirt November 8, 1950
6107 Osterbrock January 14, 1948
(29075) 1950 DA February 22, 1950

Carl Alvar Wirtanen (November 11, 1910, Kenosha, Wisconsin – March 7, 1990 Santa Cruz, California) was an American astronomer and discoverer of comets and minor planets who worked at Lick Observatory.[2][3]

He discovered periodic comet 46P/Wirtanen, as well as eight asteroids, including notably the Apollo asteroid (29075) 1950 DA, which may have a non-negligible probability of impacting the Earth in the year 2880. He also discovered two other Apollo asteroids: 1685 Toro and 1863 Antinous. Based on the Shane–Wirtanen survey, the Shane Wirtanen Catalogue, a count of galaxies, was his major work published in 1954.[4]

Wirtanen was of Finnish ancestry.[2]

The asteroid 2044 Wirt, discovered by himself at Lick Observatory in 1950, was named in his honor in on 1 January 1981 (M.P.C. 5688). The name was proposed by his college Arnold Klemola.[3][5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 22 June 2016. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Klemola, Arnold Richard (September 1991). "Obituary: Carl Alvar Wirtanen, 1910-1990". Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society ; vol. 23: 1495–1496. Bibcode:1991BAAS...23.1495K. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  3. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2044) Wirt. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 166. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Brown, Michael E.; Groth, Edward J. (March 1989). "The Shane Wirtanen counts – Observability of the galaxy correlation function". Astrophysical Journal: 605–617. Bibcode:1989ApJ...338..605B. doi:10.1086/167222. ISSN 0004-637X. Retrieved 12 July 2016. 
  5. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 12 July 2016.