Somerville

1987 ST1. Discovered 1987 Sept. 21 by E. Bowell at Anderson Mesa.

Named for Mary Somerville (nyee Fairfax, 1780-1872), one of Europe's most distinguished women scientists of her time. Her treatise on Laplace's {see planet (4628)} Mécanique Céleste brought her widespread recognition, including an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Astronomical Society. The Royal Society, unable to elect a woman as a Fellow, commissioned a sculpted bust to be displayed in their premises. J. C. Adams {see planet (1996)} is said to have told her that it was the statement, in the sixth edition of her On the connexion of the physical sciences, that the departure of Uranus from its predicted path might reveal the existence of an undiscovered planet that minded him to carry out his calculations that successfully predicted the position of Neptune. She campaigned for education rights and voting rights for women. Somerville College in the University of Oxford was named in her honor when founded in 1878 for the education of women undergraduates. (M 25444)

Name suggested and citation prepared by S. A. and J. Mitton.

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