4081 P-L. Discovered 1960 Sept. 24 by C. J. van Houten and I. van Houten-Groeneveld at Palomar.

Named for the Massachusetts island and the Maria Mitchell {see planet (1455)} Observatory located there. The observatory was founded by the Maria Mitchell Association, which in 1912 created an astronomical fellowship for women to work at the observatory during the summer months. Margaret Harwood {see planet (7040)} was the first fellow and director and had wished to give the name of the island to minor planet (886), when she independently discovered it just 80 years ago. This belated new assignment of that name also comes on the sesquicentennial of the appearance of Nantucket on the astronomical map, when Maria Mitchell discovered a comet on 1847 Oct. 1 from the roof of her father's house. (M 30799)

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