Lonely Planet Writer

A new minor planet has been discovered and scientists have called it Bernard

A minor planet has been officially named “Bernardbowen” after an Australian citizen science group won a competition to give it a title. Its full name is Bernardbowen, but it’s Bernard to friends.

The celestial body was first discovered way back in 1991 but has only just been named
The celestial body was first discovered way back in 1991 but has only just been named Image by PA

Dr Bernard Bowen was the founding chairman of the country’s International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, where the citizen science group is based. The group of around 50,000 volunteers, called theSkyNet, donate spare processing power to help astronomers.

Poster announcing the winning names
Poster announcing the winning names (International Astronomical Union)

The planet’s namesake also helped bring the Square Kilometre Array radio telescope to Australia. The celestial body was first discovered way back in 1991 but has only just been named along with 16 other minor planets in a competition run by the International Astronomical Union, which works to advance astronomy through international cooperation. The small planet sits between Mars and Jupiter in the Asteroid Belt and takes just over three Earth years to orbit the sun.

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