Saturday, July 17, 2010

Asteroid Cronkite

On the night of November 18, 1990 astronomer Elanor Helin, using Palomar's 18-inch Schmidt telescope, discovered an asteroid (arrowed above) that was later found to have an orbit that carried it across the orbit of Mars. Almost exactly six years later the asteroid was named for journalist Walter Cronkite and is now officially known as 6318 Cronkite.

Walter Cronkite passed away one year ago today, just days ahead of the 4oth anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing on the moon. Cronkite famously covered the moon landings and for many of us old enough to remember them it is hard to separate the events that took place in space from the coverage he provided.

It has been a year, but so long Walter you are missed.

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