1981 WM. Discovered 1981 Nov. 25 at the Oak Ridge Observatory at Harvard.

Named in memory of Paul Pellas (1924-1997), physicist, meteoriticist, and curator at the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris. He timed the early cooling histories of minor planets by studying the pattern of thermal annealing of fission tracks, created by the decay of the short-lived isotope plutonium 244, in the minerals of meteorites that once resided in these larger bodies. He also measured cosmic-ray track densities in lunar rocks to determine their residence times on the surface of the moon. (M 30101) Name proposed by J. A. Wood.

Obituary published in Meteorit. Planet. Sci., Vol. 32, No. 6, p. 983-984 (1997).

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