Asteroid Beaglehole

I have just heard that an asteroid has recently been named after J.C.Beaglehole.

We are regularly reminded of just what a significant figure J.C.Beaglehole was in the history of exploration. It seems that space exploration is no different.  It most definitely tips its hat to the explorers of the past as inspiration, and apparently gives due credit to those who have contributed to that history. There is even a profile of JCB in NASA’s Apollo Lunar Surface Journal.  And now he is remembered and acknowledged in the naming of asteroid. I think it is quite reasonable to say “Wow!” in such circumstances.

Here is the citation for newly named asteroid Beaglehole

(15413) Beaglehole = 1998 BX9
Discovered 1998 Jan. 22 by Spacewatch at Kitt Peak.
J.C. Beaglehole (1901-1971) was a New Zealand historian and authority on the European exploration of the Pacific. His “Life of Captain Cook” and associated “Journals of Captain Cook” and “Journals of Joseph Banks” constitute a definitive account of the Cook voyages. Name suggested and citation supplied by Eric M. Jones.

 – and here is the listing the the Minor Planet Catalog

Asteroid Beaglehole is in the main Asteroid Belt; and has a semi-major axis of
3.07 astronomical units, which is 3.07 times Earth’s average distance from the Sun. Its absolute magnitude is 13.9, which puts the diameter between about 5.2 to 10.2 kilometers, depending on how reflective it really is. [Thanks to Eric Jones for this information.]

There is also an Antarctic glacier which the UK Antarctic Place-names Committee named after him in 1976, honouring his contribution to Cook sholarship and Antarctic history.

Wow! again


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