1972 FA. Discovered 1972 Mar. 16 by T. Gehrels at Palomar.

Named in honor of the ninth emperor of the Aztec empire, who reigned 1502-1520. He believed that his land rightly belonged to the serpent god Quetzalcoatl {see planet (1915)}, who one day would return from the East. When the first Spanish invaders landed in Central America, Montezuma interpreted them as the followers of Quetzalcoatl returning. After only feeble negotiation, he allowed Cortez to occupy his capital city peacefully and rule through him. During Cortez' temporary absence hostilities developed between Spaniards and Aztecs in which Montezuma was among the first killed. (M 21605)

Named by the Minor Planet Names Committee following a suggestion by F. Pilcher.

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