to the Fifth Edition

The history and development of minor planet discoveries is a fascinating story with a rather breathtaking evolution. The figure of numbered planets exceeded the unbelievable cornerstone of 50000 objects in November 2002. At the same time we achieved slightly more than 10000 named planets. A comparison with the corresponding numbers in the first three editions of this book - 5012 (Dec. 1991), 5655 (Sept. 1993), 7041 (June 1996) and 10666 (May 1999) - yields the astonishing fact of a complete doubling of the material in only seven years. During the last four years this trend evolved extremely more rapidly. Minor planet (20000) was announced in the January 2001 MPCs and - after only 22 months - in November 2002 we are even faced with object (52224). This must be compared with the huge time span of two centuries 1801-2000 which was necessary to detect and to refine the orbits of the first 20000 planets. Nowadays, we only need approximately 14 months for the same quantity!

This inflationary enhancement of data in even shorter time intervals requires a new publication strategy. With this fifth edition we, therefore, were forced to reduce this Dictionary from a collection of all numbered objects to only those which are named already. This clearing out process now exactly corresponds with the title of this book. According to a resolution of IAU Division III at the 2002 Manchester IAU General Assembly this Dictionary attained the status of an official IAU reference work. This fifth edition will serve as the basic survey which will be completed by additional supplementary booklets every three years according with the IAU General Assemblies. The Supplements to DMPN will contain all newly published names from the last three-year period as well as corrections and amendments of earlier editions. The publication of a parallel CD-ROM version of DMPN is abandoned due to the relatively slight demand.

The fundamental structure of the "Dictionary" has been left unchanged. It is, of course, a thoroughly revised and considerably enlarged data collection and every effort has been made to check and correct each single piece of information again. For detailed information of the discovery circumstances of numbered but unnamed planets the reader is referred to the extensive data files compiled by the Minor Planet Center.

As author I owe a great debt of gratitude to Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld for her enthusiastic encouragement and to Brian G. Marsden for his everlasting support of this common project of all interested astronomers. My gratitude is also due to Wolf Beiglbock and Petra Treiber from the Springer-Verlag for their excellent cooperation. The trustful cooperation with the IAU General Secretary Hans Rickman is highly appreciated. Finally, I would like to thank again my colleague Gernot Burkhardt for his indefatigable support with the extensive TEXprocessing.

Heidelberg, January 2003

Lutz D. Schmadel


Foreword to the Fifth Edition vii

Foreword to the First Edition x

Preface to the First Edition xi

Preface to the Fifth Edition xiii


Introductory Remarks 1

Minor Planet Designations 2

Evolution of Naming Rules 4

Information Content of the Catalogue 7

Statistics and Classification of the Names 8

Sources of Information 11

Catalogue of Minor Planet Names and Discovery Circumstances 13


1. Discoverers in Alphabetical Order 897

2. Discoverers Ranking List 905

3. Corporate Discoveries 907

4. Discovery Places in Alphabetical Order 909

5. Discovery Places Ranking List 913

6. Categories of Minor Planet Names 915

7. Names Classification by Countries 915

8. Nobel Laureates 917

9. IAU Officers 919

10. Special Type Numbered Minor Planets 921

11. Minor Planet Names with Unknown Meaning 927

References 931

Index of Minor Planet Names 933

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