Asteroid (7177) Melvyntaylor

Melvyn Taylor, one of the Association’s most active visual observers, passed away in 2017 August. Last autumn Mark Simpson (a past President of Leeds AS) proposed that an asteroid should be named after Melvyn, to recognise his lifetime’s work in amateur astronomy.

Thanks to the concerted effort of Mark, Guy Hurst and Robert McNaught, one of Robert’s discoveries is now named (7177) Melvyntaylor: a main-belt asteroid lying between Mars and Jupiter, taking 4.4 years to orbit the Sun. It is 7.4km in diameter and rotates once every 3.3 hours.

Asteroid (7177) Melvyntaylor, imaged by David Storey.

This photograph was obtained by David Storey (Isle of Man AS) when it was magnitude 17.4R in Pisces, moving towards Aries. The image comprises five 30s exposures (binned 3×3), taken with a 0.35m Schmidt–Cassegrain and ZWO ASI1600MM Pro CCD camera on 2022 Feb 10 at 19:31 UT.

A naming citation is listed by the Minor Planet Center on its webpage: ‘Melvyn Douglas Taylor (1947–2017) was one of the UK’s most active amateur astronomers, bequeathing an immense catalogue of visual observations of variable stars, meteors and comets. He promoted amateur astronomy locally and nationally for several decades and was a mentor to many newcomers. [Ref: WGSBN Bull. 1, #13, 6].’

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