Richard Martin West
|see § List of discovered minor planets|
Richard Martin West (born 1941) is a Danish astronomer and discoverer of astronomical objects with a long career at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) and at the International Astronomical Union (IAU).
He is also credited by the Minor Planet Center with the discovery of 40 minor planets between 1976 and 1986, including 2146 Stentor and 2148 Epeios, two Trojan asteroids. Together with Hans-Emil Schuster, he co-discovered the Phoenix Dwarf galaxy.
Early life and education
West was born in Copenhagen in 1941. He completed high school in 1959 and then achieved a degree in astronomy and astrophysics from University of Copenhagen in 1964.
Career at ESO
Richard West began working at ESO in 1970, when he joined as Assistant Astronomer to the ESO Director General, Adriaan Blaauw. His career took a leap in 1972, when he charged one of the first and largest scientific programmes of ESO: the Sky Atlas Laboratory project to systematically map the southern hemisphere.
West was a leading figure in helping out and establishing serious collaborations with the scientific communities of the Central and Eastern European countries in the wake of the political, social and economical turmoil following the collapse and dismantling of the Soviet block in the early 1990s.
West retired in 2005, after a continuous employment at ESO.
Richard West focussed a lot of his worklife on the organizational matters of the international scientific community in addition to science communications in general. He held a number of influential positions:
- Assistant General Secretary of the IAU in 1979–1982.
- General Secretary of the IAU (1982–1985).
- Presided over a number of IAU Commissions, including Commission 20 from 1988 to 1991.
- Member of the Executive Committee of ICSU.
Awards and honors
- Rosenkjaer Prize. A prestigious award in Denmark, given for outstanding science or culture communication.
- The main-belt asteroid 2022 West was named in his honor.
List of discovered minor planets
|2052 Tamriko||24 October 1976||list|
|2053 Nuki||24 October 1976||list|
|2115 Irakli||24 October 1976||list|
|2116 Mtskheta||24 October 1976||list|
|2117 Danmark||9 January 1978||list|
|2145 Blaauw||24 October 1976||list|
|2146 Stentor||24 October 1976||list|
|2147 Kharadze||25 October 1976||list|
|2148 Epeios||24 October 1976||list|
|2187 La Silla||24 October 1976||list|
|2526 Alisary||19 May 1979||list|
|2595 Gudiachvili||19 May 1979||list|
|2596 Vainu Bappu||19 May 1979||list|
|2935 Naerum||24 October 1976||list|
|3004 Knud||27 February 1976||list|
|3477 Kazbegi||19 May 1979||list|
|3871 Reiz||18 February 1982||list|
|3933 Portugal||12 March 1986||list|
|5270 Kakabadze||19 May 1979||list|
|5890 Carlsberg||19 May 1979||list|
|6362 Tunis||19 May 1979||list|
|8066 Poldimeri||6 August 1980||list|
|8993 Ingstad||30 October 1980||list|
|9272 Liseleje||19 May 1979||list|
|(10462) 1979 KM||19 May 1979||list|
|(10668) 1976 UB1||24 October 1976||list|
|11005 Waldtrudering||6 August 1980||list|
|(12188) 1978 PE||9 August 1978||list|
|(12198) 1980 PJ1||6 August 1980||list|
|(14350) 1985 VA1||1 November 1985||list|
|(15201) 1976 UY||31 October 1976||list|
|(15207) 1979 KD||19 May 1979||list|
|(20995) 1985 VY||1 November 1985||list|
|(22252) 1978 SG||27 September 1978||list|
|(26081) 1980 PT1||6 August 1980||list|
|(27667) 1979 KJ||19 May 1979||list|
|(34998) 1978 SE||27 September 1978||list|
|(65661) 1985 VB1||1 November 1985||list|
|79086 Gorgasali||4 September 1977||list|
|(187746) 1976 DC||27 February 1976||list|
- "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 4 September 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2016.
- "New Scientist - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-01-08.
- "Richard West Retires" (PDF). The Messenger. ESO. June 2005. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
- "Strange New Star Appears in the Southern Sky". ESO. 17 January 1991. Retrieved 1 December 2014.
- Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2022) West. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 164. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 11 July 2016.