Patterson

1980 LM. Discovered 1980 June 11 by C. S. Shoemaker at Palomar.

Named in honor of Clair C. Patterson {1922-1995}, geochemist at the California Institute of Technology. Patterson is world-renowned for his determination, through exquisite techniques of isotopic analysis, of the age of the Earth and of meteorites at 4.55 x 109 years; with the aid of additional lines of evidence, this can be shown to be the age of the solar system as a whole. He also played a leading role in revising the estimates of elemental abundances in various solar system materials. (M 6955)

Name proposed by C. S. Shoemaker and E. F. Helin.

Obituary published in Nature, Vol. 379, No. 6565, p. 487 (1996).

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