Tennyo

1993 CK. Discovered 1993 Feb. 14 by T. Kobayashi at Oizumi.

A maiden who dances in the heavens scattering flowers, playing music and perfuming the atmosphere, this angelic figure can be seen in Buddhist sculptures and paintings traditionally found all over Japan. During astronaut Chiaki Mukai's {see planet (4750)} first space shuttle flight, she cummunicated by radio with junior high school students in Tatebayashi {see planet (6663)}. In the radio exchange, one of the students asked how it felt to be in space. She answered, "It feels like I have become a 'tennyo' and am flying." The word became famous all over Japan as another name for Mukai. This naming was also a winning entry in the Exploratorium "star" naming competition. (M 33787)

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