Asteroid Given Name of George Takei in Celestial Honor
An asteroid located between Mars and Jupiter has been named for Star Trek's Hikari Sulu, actor George Takei.
The actor learned of the news yesterday. Said Takei: 'I am now a heavenly body. I found out about it yesterday. ... I was blown away. It came out of the clear, blue sky -- just like an asteroid.''
The celestial body will now be called 7307 Takei, approved by the International Astronomical Union's Committee on Small Body Nomenclature. Tom Burbine, a Mount Holyoke College astronomy professor, proposed the name change, according to the Associated Press:
"Burbine said he suggested Takei's name in part out of appreciation for his work with the Japanese American Citizens League and with the gay rights group Human Rights Campaign. Takei, a spokesman for HRC's Coming Out Project, was cultural affairs chairman of the JACL, and he was appointed to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission by former President Clinton."
The photo at top is not a photo of Takei 7307, just a mock-up I created. Below, you can see the orbit of Takei 7307 from a screengrab I took at the NASA website.
George Takei came out of the closet publicly in October 2005. Since then he has been a vocal advocate for LGBT rights.
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