This article was published by Elizabeth Howell, Space.com Contributor. Read the full article here.
A European astronaut now has a permanent presence in space. Luca Parmitano — who flew on the International Space Station in 2013 — has an asteroid named after him, called “37627 Lucaparmitano.”
The asteroid, formerly known just as 1993 TD, was discovered in 1993 by Italian astronomer Vincenzo Silvano Casulli, at the Osservatorio di Vallemare di Borbona in Italy’s Lazio region, northeast of Rome, according to a statement from the European Space Agency.
In the statement, Casulli said renaming the asteroid was appropriate because “Luca, who flew six months on the Space Station, didn’t have his own asteroid.” The name has been approved by the International Astronomical Union, the official body that oversees astronomical monikers.