Meanings of minor planet names: 52001–53000

As minor planet discoveries are confirmed, they are given a permanent number by the IAU's Minor Planet Center (MPC), and the discoverers can then submit names for them, following the IAU's naming conventions. The list below concerns those minor planets in the specified number-range that have received names, and explains the meanings of those names.

Official naming citations of newly named small Solar System bodies are published in MPC's Minor Planet Circulars several times a year.[1] Recent citations can also be found on the JPL Small-Body Database (SBDB).[2] Until his death in 2016, German astronomer Lutz D. Schmadel compiled these citations into the Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (DMP) and regularly updated the collection.[3][4] Based on Paul Herget's The Names of the Minor Planets,[5] Schmadel also researched the unclear origin of numerous asteroids, most of which had been named prior to World War II.  This article incorporates public domain material from the United States Government document: "SBDB". New namings may only be added after official publication as the preannouncement of names is condemned by the Committee on Small Body Nomenclature.[6]


Named minor planet Provisional This minor planet was named for... Ref · Catalog
52005 Maik 2002 CL13 Maik Meyer (born 1970), German amateur astronomer MPC  · 52005
52008 Johnnaka 2002 EP111 John Yoshio Naka (1914–2004), the preeminent American bonsai master of the late 20th century. JPL  · 52008
52030 Maxvasile 2002 PX33 Massimiliano Vasile (born 1970) is a professor of Space Systems Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. He has developed innovative techniques for the design and optimization of space trajectories and is an astrodynamics expert. He is leader of the EuTN STARDUST project on asteroid and space debris monitoring and mitigation.. JPL  · 52030
52057 Clarkhowell 2002 PS130 Francis Clark Howell (1925–2007), generally known as "F. Clark Howell", was an American anthropologist. JPL  · 52057


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Named minor planet Provisional This minor planet was named for... Ref · Catalog
There are no named minor planets in this number range


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Named minor planet Provisional This minor planet was named for... Ref · Catalog
52225 Panchenko 1968 OF1 Vladislav Yakovlevich Panchenko (born 1947), an authority in laser information technologies, scientific instrumentation technologies, non-linear optics and medical physics. JPL  · 52225
52226 Saenredam 1974 PA Pieter Jansz. Saenredam (1597–1665), Dutch Baroque-era painter and engraver JPL  · 52226
52228 Protos 1977 RN Greek word for "first", the discoverer's first minor planet detection JPL  · 52228
52231 Sitnik 1978 RX1 Grigorij Fedorovich Sitnik (1911–1996), professor of the Moscow State University. JPL  · 52231
52242 Michelemaoret 1981 EX Michele Maoret (born 1971), a mathematics teacher and president of the association of scientific education 'Luigi Lagrange', which is involved in the teaching of physics, mathematics and astronomy. JPL  · 52242
52246 Donaldjohanson 1981 EQ5 Donald Johanson (born 1943), an American paleoanthropologist who discovered the fossil of a female hominin australopithecine known as "Lucy". JPL  · 52246
52260 Ureshino 1982 KA Ureshino, a city located in Saga prefecture, Kyushu island, Japan JPL  · 52260
52261 Izumishikibu 1982 VL4 Izumi Shikibu (born c. 976) was a Japanese poet from the 11th century Heian period. She wrote Izumi Shikibu Nikki, which was a notable diary containing waka poems about her affairs with the Imperial Prince. It is said that she was born in Shiroishi district and spent her younger days in Shiota in Saga Prefecture, Japan. JPL  · 52261
52266 Van Flandern 1986 AD Tom Van Flandern (1940–2009), astronomer and lunar occultations analylist at the U.S. Naval Observatory in the 1970s JPL  · 52266
52267 Rotarytorino 1986 EP2 The "Rotary Club Torino", the third oldest Rotary Club in Italy and from its foundation in 1925 has contributed with its services to the development of science and technology, the most important enterprises in the Piedmont scientific and industrial area. JPL  · 52267
52270 Noamchomsky 1988 CH5 Noam Chomsky (born 1928), an American linguist and philosopher. JPL  · 52270
52271 Lecorbusier 1988 RP3 Le Corbusier (Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, 1887–1965), Swiss-French architect and city planner JPL  · 52271
52285 Kakurinji 1990 OX2 Kakurinji, built by Prince Shotoku in AD 589, is a historically significant Buddhist temple complex in Kakogawa city, Hyogo prefecture. JPL  · 52285
52291 Mott 1990 TU1 John R. Mott (1865–1955), American organizer of the modern ecumenical movement and Peace Prize Nobelist JPL  · 52291
52292 Kamdzhalov 1990 TB2 Yordan Kamdzhalov (born 1980), Bulgarian conductor. JPL  · 52292
52293 Mommsen 1990 TQ3 Theodor Mommsen (1817–1903), German classical historian, epigraphist, and Nobelist JPL  · 52293
52294 Detlef 1990 TJ4 Detlef Ninnemann (born 1944), a German patent attorney and electrical engineer. JPL  · 52294
52295 Köppen 1990 VK4 Wladimir Köppen (1846–1940), a Russian-German botanist-climatologist. JPL  · 52295


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Named minor planet Provisional This minor planet was named for... Ref · Catalog
52301 Qumran 1991 RQ2 Qumran, Palestine, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found JPL  · 52301
52308 Hanspeterröser 1991 TE3 Hans-Peter Röser (born 1949), director of the Institute of Space Studies at the University of Stuttgart. JPL  · 52308
52309 Philnicolai 1991 TQ7 Philipp Nicolai, German Lutheran pastor and poet, author of the hymns Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (Wake, awake! for night is flying) and Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern (How brightly beams the morning star!) JPL  · 52309
52316 Daveslater 1992 BD David C. Slater (1957–2011), a U.S. physicist with Southwest Research Institute. JPL  · 52316
52334 Oberammergau 1992 FS3 Oberammergau, Bavaria, Germany, festival place of a famous Passion Play JPL  · 52334
52337 Compton 1992 RS Arthur Holly Compton, American physicist and Nobelist JPL  · 52337
52341 Ballmann 1992 SB2 Helga Ballmann (born 1954), the personal assistant of the Director of the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut, Heidelberg. JPL MPC  · 52341
52344 Yehudimenuhin 1992 YM1 Yehudi Menuhin (1916–1999), an American-born violinist and conductor, is considered as one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century. JPL  · 52344
52384 Elenapanko 1993 HZ5 Elena Alekseevna Panko (born 1958), a Ukrainian astronomer at Nikolaev State University JPL  · 52384
52387 Huitzilopochtli 1993 OM7 Huitzilopochtli is an Aztec god associated with the sun. His name, meaning "hummingbird of the south" came from the Aztec belief that the spirits of killed warriors followed the sun through the sky during four subsequent years. Thereafter they were transformed into hummingbirds. JPL  · 52387


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Named minor planet Provisional This minor planet was named for... Ref · Catalog
52421 Daihoji 1994 LA Daihōji, north of Kumakōgen, Japan, 44th destination of the Shikoku Pilgrimage JPL  · 52421
52422 LPL 1994 LP The University of Arizona's Lunar and Planetary Laboratory JPL  · 52422
52455 Masamika 1995 AD1 Masa-aki Takanashi (1959–2001) and his wife Mika, Japanese amateur astronomers JPL  · 52455
52457 Enquist 1995 AE4 Anna Enquist (born 1945), a Dutch author and poet, who studied psycho-analysis at Leiden and piano at the conservatory of Den Haag. JPL  · 52457
52480 Enzomora 1995 UM5 Gian Vincenzo Mora, Italian amateur astronomer JPL  · 52480
52500 Kanata 1996 DC1 KANATA, Japanese for "Far Away", name of the new 1.5-m telescope of Hiroshima University JPL  · 52500


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Named minor planet Provisional This minor planet was named for... Ref · Catalog
52558 Pigafetta 1997 FR Antonio Pigafetta (c. 1492—c. 1531) was an Italian navigator and geographer. He participated in the first circumnavigation of the globe from 1519 to 1522. JPL  · 52558
52589 Montviloff 1997 PY3 Nicolas Montviloff, French co-founder of the Observatoire des Pises, and current president of the Société astronomique de Montpellier JPL  · 52589


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Named minor planet Provisional This minor planet was named for... Ref · Catalog
52601 Iwayaji 1997 SJ16 Iwaya-ji [ja], east of Kumakōgen, Japan, 45th destination of the Shikoku Pilgrimage JPL  · 52601
52604 Thomayer 1997 TZ9 Josef Thomayer (1853–1927), Czech professor of internal medicine at the Charles University of Prague JPL  · 52604
52633 Turvey 1997 WL23 Barry Sydney Turvey (born 1950) has devoted many years to the cause of popularizing astronomy in the UK, as Membership Secretary, Merchandising Manager and Council Member of the Society for Popular Astronomy. JPL  · 52633
52649 Chrismith 1997 YX11 Christine Elizabeth Smith, American elementary school teacher JPL  · 52649
52665 Brianmay 1998 BM30 Brian May, British astrophysicist, chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, and lead guitarist and songwriter for the rock group Queen JPL  · 52665
52681 Kelleghan 1998 DK34 Deirdre Kelleghan (born 1957) is an Irish astronomer, artist and educator. She invents, designs and enacts creative workshops to help children understand our solar system through drawing. Her activities take place in schools, libraries, science centres and observatories throughout Ireland. JPL  · 52681


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Named minor planet Provisional This minor planet was named for... Ref · Catalog
52767 Ophelestes 1998 MW41 Ophelestes, a Trojan warrior, was killed by an arrow of Teucer, who was causing much havoc with his bow amongst the ranks of the Trojans. JPL  · 52767


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Named minor planet Provisional This minor planet was named for... Ref · Catalog
52872 Okyrhoe 1998 SG35 Okyrhoe, mythological daughter of Chiron and Chariklo JPL  · 52872


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Named minor planet Provisional This minor planet was named for... Ref · Catalog
52963 Vercingetorix 1998 TB16 Vercingetorix (ca. 82 BC – 46 BC) was a King of the Arverni and military leader of the Celtic people against the Roman invasion. He beat Julius Caesar's forces at the Battle of Gergovia (52 BCE), but surrendered during the battle of Alesia, presumably because of superstitions related to the lunar eclipse of 26 Sep. 52 BCE. JPL  · 52963
52975 Cyllarus 1998 TF35 Cyllarus, mythological centaur JPL  · 52975


  1. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive" . Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  2. ^ "JPL – Solar System Dynamics: Discovery Circumstances" . Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 25 June 2019.
  3. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names . Springer Berlin Heidelberg. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  4. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2006). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – Addendum to Fifth Edition: 2003–2005 . Springer Berlin Heidelberg. ISBN 978-3-540-34360-8. Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  5. ^ Herget, Paul (1968). The Names of the Minor Planets. Cincinnati, Ohio: Minor Planet Center, Cincinnati Observatory. OCLC 224288991 .
  6. ^ "Guide to Minor Body Astrometry – When can I name my discovery?" . Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 20 July 2019.

Preceded by
Meanings of minor planet names
List of minor planets: 52,001–53,000
Succeeded by

Categories: Lists of meanings of minor planet names

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