Zahnle

1980 PF. Discovered 1980 Aug. 6 by E. Bowell at Anderson Mesa.

Named in honor of Kevin J. Zahnle (1955- ), senior research scientist at NASA Ames Research Center, for many fundamental contributions to understanding the physical nature and size-frequency distributions of minor planets and comets and the implications of their impacts with planets. Zahnle's research has elucidated the physics of atmospheric entry and thus identified the Tunguska {see planet (5471)} object as a stony object, provided critical predictions of the phenomena observed in the 1994 cometary impacts with Jupiter and quantified the expected environmental effects from earth impacts of NEOs over a wide energy range, leading to a determination of the threshold energy for global impact catastrophe. (M 35487) Name suggested and citation provided by D. Morrison.

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