Richard P. Binzel
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Richard "Rick" P. Binzel (born 1958) is an American astronomer and professor of planetary sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a discoverer of minor planets, photometrist and the inventor of the Torino Scale, a method for categorizing the impact hazard associated with near-Earth objects such as asteroids and comets.
Biography and honors
Binzel was awarded the H. C. Urey Prize by the American Astronomical Society in 1991. He also was awarded a "MacVicar Faculty Fellowship" for teaching excellence at MIT in 1994. He is a co-investigator on the OSIRIS-REx mission.
Binzel was on the "Planet Definition Committee" that developed the proposal to the International Astronomical Union's meeting in Prague in 2006 on whether Pluto should be considered a planet. Their proposal was revised during the meeting and Pluto is now considered a dwarf planet. However, Richard Binzel has strong feelings contrary to this collective decision and would prefer for Pluto to still be classified as having full planet status.
- "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 12 January 2017. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
- Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2873) Binzel. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 236. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 30 August 2017.
- Willmann-Bell (1988). Introduction to asteroids: the next frontier.
- "Four more named MacVicar Fellows". MIT. 1994-02-09.
- Robert Roy Britt (2006-08-14). "Pluto's Fate to be Decided by 'Scientific and Simple' Planet Definition". SPACE.com.
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