She’s a celestial ‘rock’ star

Our very own Dr Space Junk, aka Associate Professor Alice Gorman, has received the ultimate celestial honour, joining a select few to have an asteroid named after her.

Asteroid (551014) = 2012 UU185 was discovered by astronomer Dr Marco Langbroek and his colleague Krisztián Sárneczky in 2012, and has officially been named (551014) Gorman. The naming was recently announced in the Working Group Small Bodies Nomenclature Bulletin vol 1 nr. 7.

Asteroid (551014) Gorman is a 2km main belt asteroid, orbiting in the asteroid belt between the planets Mars and Jupiter. It takes 5.8 years to complete one orbit around the sun.

Picture by Daniel Kukec Photography

Dr Langbroek says Associate Professor Gorman is well known for her work in the field of Space Archaeology, and that naming the asteroid in her honour was a way to say thank you for her contribution.

“I am both an archaeologist and an astronomer, and know Alice Gorman personally from her work on Space Archaeology. She is an internationally recognised pioneer in that field and it gives me much pleasure to bestow this well deserved honour on her,” he says.

Our warmest applause to Alice on this incredible recognition. Vice-Chancellor Professor Colin Stirling offered his congratulations on this singular honour, saying “it must feel pretty damned cool!”

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College of Humanities Arts and Social Sciences