Richard Martin West

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Minor planets discovered: 40 [1]
2052 Tamriko October 24, 1976
2053 Nuki October 24, 1976
2115 Irakli October 24, 1976
2116 Mtskheta October 24, 1976
2117 Danmark January 9, 1978
2145 Blaauw October 24, 1976
2146 Stentor October 24, 1976
2147 Kharadze October 25, 1976
2148 Epeios October 24, 1976
2187 La Silla October 24, 1976
2526 Alisary May 19, 1979
2595 Gudiachvili May 19, 1979
2596 Vainu Bappu May 19, 1979
2935 Naerum October 24, 1976
3004 Knud February 27, 1976
3477 Kazbegi May 19, 1979
3871 Reiz February 18, 1982
3933 Portugal March 12, 1986
5270 Kakabadze May 19, 1979
5890 Carlsberg May 19, 1979
6362 Tunis May 19, 1979
8066 Poldimeri August 6, 1980
8993 Ingstad October 30, 1980
9272 Liseleje May 19, 1979
(10462) 1979 KM May 19, 1979
(10668) 1976 UB1 October 24, 1976
11005 Waldtrudering August 6, 1980
(12188) 1978 PE August 9, 1978
(12198) 1980 PJ1 August 6, 1980
(14350) 1985 VA1 November 1, 1985
(15201) 1976 UY October 31, 1976
(15207) 1979 KD May 19, 1979
(20995) 1985 VY November 1, 1985
(22252) 1978 SG September 27, 1978
(26081) 1980 PT1 August 6, 1980
(27667) 1979 KJ May 19, 1979
(34998) 1978 SE September 27, 1978
(65661) 1985 VB1 November 1, 1985
79086 Gorgasali September 4, 1977

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 discovered numerous comets, including Comet West (C/1975 V1), which was one of the brightest comets of the 1970s,[2] and the periodic comets 76P/West–Kohoutek–Ikemura and 123P/West–Hartley.

He is also credited by the Minor Planet Center with the discovery of 40 minor planets between 1976 and 1986,[1] including 2146 Stentor and 2148 Epeios, two Trojan asteroids. Together with Hans-Emil Schuster, he co-discovered the Phoenix Dwarf galaxy.

Career at ESO[edit]

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.[3]

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.[3][4]

West retired in 2005, after a continuous employment at ESO.[3]

Positions[edit]

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:[3]

  • Assistant General Secretary of the IAU in 1979–1982.
  • General Secretary of the IAU (1982–1985).[5]
  • Presided over a number of IAU Commissions, including Commission 20 from 1988 to 1991.[5]
  • Member of the Executive Committee of ICSU.

Awards and honors[edit]

  • 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.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 23 May 2016. Retrieved June 2016. 
  2. ^ "New Scientist - Google Books". Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-01-08. 
  3. ^ a b c d "Richard West Retires" (PDF). The Messenger. ESO. June 2005. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  4. ^ "Strange New Star Appears in the Southern Sky". ESO. 17 January 1991. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2022) West. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 164. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved July 2016. 

External links[edit]