Mercator

1989 SU1. Discovered 1989 Sept. 26 by E. W. Elst at La Silla.

Named in memory of the Flemish cartographer Gerard De Kremer (1512-1594), known under the Latinised form of his name Gerardus Mercator. After receiving a master's degree from the University of Leuven in 1532, he studied mathematics, geography and astronomy and became a skillful engraver. He established himself in that city as an independent scientific-instrument maker and cartographer in 1537 and began to build his reputation as the most important geographer of his time. Appointed court cosmographer to the Duke of Cleve in 1564, he perfected his cylindrical map projection now known as "Mercator projection" in 1569. To him we owe the term "atlas" for a collection of geographical maps. (M 19339)

Name proposed by the discoverer following a suggestion by E. Goffin, who also prepared the citation.

Mercator is also honored by a lunar crater.

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