The King's Marquee

Election Day is finally here! Let's get out there an seal the deal for Trump and the American people! And don't forget to support the CTGOP under-ticket!

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mr. Sulu gets his own asteroid!

This story... reprinted below details how George Takei (famed Mr. Sulu, helmsman aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise captained by Capt. James T. Kirk) has had a star name after him. Pretty cool stuff! It's nice to know that scientists can mix a little Sci-Fi in with their appreciation for true science.

Here is the story courtesy of and the Associated Press:

10.01.2007 Asteroid Named After Takei (UPDATE)

No, it's not one of those deals where you pay someone to "name a star" after yourself — it's legitimate and official. George Takei has been immortalized in the heavens with his name permanently affixed to an asteroid between Mars and Jupiter.

Last week the Committee on Small Body Nomenclature of the International Astronomical Union approved the name "7307 Takei" for the asteroid previously labeled "1994 GT9." The Takei reference will be used in the scientific community to identify this minor body from now on, presumably forever. Only about 14,000 asteroids have been named after specific people, out of about 400,000 such bodies known to exist.

"I am honored, indeed transported to the galaxies, to know that my name has been assigned to an astronomical object in our solar system," Takei told STARTREK.COM. "I am yet to come down to Earth."
Asteroid 7307 Takei is approximately 5 miles in diameter, located in an orbit ranging between 2.5 and 3.0 AUs from the Sun in the mid-solar system asteroid belt (an AU is the distance from the Sun to the Earth). It was discovered in 1994 by two Japanese astronomers.

The name was suggested by Tom H. Burbine, a Massachusetts astronomer, who cited Takei's work with the Japanese American Citizens League and the Human Rights Campaign, as well as his celebrity.

See for yourself: The asteroid is now listed with its new name on this page at the JPL Small-Body Database Browser. In addition to scientific data, the page shows the citation for naming the body after Takei.

It is also now listed in Harvard's Minor Planet Center database (alphabetically under "T").

For explanations on how asteroids are named, and how official designations differ from the selling of star names, see further articles listed below under Related Links.

Takei, of course, is best known for the role "Sulu" in the Original Series, which he has reprised in the Animated Series, six "Star Trek" movies, an episode of Voyager, and the independently produced "Star Trek: New Voyages." He can currently be seen on TV as a recurring player in Heroes, airing Monday nights on NBC (that is, if his character didn't really die last week!), and has several movies coming up, including "The Great Buck Howard" starring Tom Hanks and John Malkovich.

UPDATE 10.02.07: The Associated Press has now picked up this story, and has expounded on it with further information and quotes. Here are a few excerpts:

"I am now a heavenly body," Takei said Tuesday, laughing. "I found out about it yesterday ... I was blown away. It came out of the clear, blue sky — just like an asteroid."

The celestial rock ... joins the 4659 Roddenberry (named for the show's creator, Gene Roddenberry) and the 68410 Nichols (for co-star Nichelle Nichols, who played Lt. Uhura). Other main-belt asteroids are already named for science fiction luminaries Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov.

"It's in general considered quite an honor," Lars Lindberg Christensen, spokesman for the International Astronomical Union, said of the latest renaming...

Takei, 70, said he and his Star Trek co-stars had always stuck to discussing more earthly honors.

We were "privileged to work on a show that had this kind of a vision for our future, but we're actors," he said by telephone from his Los Angeles home. "Yes, we all lobbied ... for a star on Hollywood Boulevard, but never a star up in the heavens."

No comments: