Malcolm Hartley

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Minor planets discovered: 3 [1]
(21374) 1997 WS22 24 November 1997 MPC
(65674) 1988 SM 29 September 1988 MPC
(251698) 1996 DJ 18 February 1996 MPC

Malcolm Hartley is an English-born astronomer, discoverer of minor planets and comets,[2] who works at the Siding Spring Observatory in Australia.[3]

He's best known for his discovery and co-discovery of 10 comets since the 1980s, among them 79P/du Toit-Hartley, 80P/Peters–Hartley, 100P/Hartley, 110P/Hartley, and C/1984 W2.[3][4] Unfortunately for Hartley, in 2002, "the Anglo-Australian Observatory retrofitted its Schmidt to perform multi-object spectroscopy, essentially halting all astrophotography with the telescope and ending any future possibility for comet discovery".[4] In November 2010, he visited NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory facility in California to witness the EPOXI mission flyby of comet 103P/Hartley on 4 November 2010.[5]

Hartley is credited by the Minor Planet Center with the discovery of 3 asteroids made at the Siding Spring Observatory between 1996 and 1998, with (21374) 1997 WS22 and (65674) 1988 SM being near-Earth objects of the Amor group of asteroids.[1]

The outer main-belt asteroid 4768 Hartley was named in his honour, being deputy astronomer of the U.K. Schmidt telescope at Siding Spring, with which this minor planet was discovered.[3] Naming citation was published on 27 June 1991 (M.P.C. 18464).[6]


  1. ^ a b "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 20 June 2016. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Probe sweeps past 'space peanut'". By Jonathan Amos, BBC News, 4 November 2010
  3. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(4768) Hartley". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (4768) Hartley. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 411. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_4674. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  4. ^ a b Talcott, Richard (20 September 2010). "Get ready for a naked-eye comet – Comet 103P/Hartley promises to be the brightest comet of 2010 when it peaks in October". Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  5. ^ "The Man Behind Comet Hartley 2 – Malcolm Hartley". Jet Propulsion Laboratory – News. 2 November 2010. Retrieved 19 July 2016.
  6. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 19 July 2016.

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