I am delighted to report that news has reached me from Rik Hill at the Lunar & Planetary Laboratory in Arizona that the International Astronomical Union and the Minor Planet Center at Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory have approved the minor planet name “95852 Leatherbarrow”, named in honour of our very own Prof Bill Leatherbarrow.
The citation reads: “95852 Leatherbarrow. Discovered 2003 Mar. 31 by the Catalina Sky Survey. Bill Leatherbarrow is professor emeritus at the University of Sheffield. He was awarded an honorary doctorate for services to amateur astronomy. He served as British Astronomical Association President from 2011 to 2013, and has been BAA Lunar Section Director since 2009.”
Hearty congratulations to Bill for this recognition.
Rik also informs that minor planet 95980 Haroldhill has been named in honour of Harold Hill (1920-2005), a former member of the BAA, and renowned lunar and solar observer.
Many congratulations Bill but you are currently unobservable near conjunction at about mag 21.6 in Pisces. You do get “easier” at the end of the the year as you brighten to mag 20 approaching opposition in Taurus. Harold is a bit easier since he is mag 20.5 in Leo at the moment.