Eleanor Helin

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Eleanor Francis "Glo" Helin (born November 19, 1932 , † January 25, 2009 ) was an American astronomer who discovered numerous asteroids and comets .

Helin worked for NASA's Near Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and initiated the Planet-Crossing Asteroid Survey (PCAS) at the Palomar Observatory in 1973 .

In the course of her work she discovered or were discovered under her leadership more than 800 asteroids, including the first two Aten asteroids (2062) Aten and (2100) Ra-Shalom as well as the Apollo asteroids (4660) Nereus and (4769) Castalia and numerous Cupid asteroids . In addition, the Trojan (3240) Laocoon and the Mars-crossing main belt asteroid (9969) Braille should be mentioned. The latter was passed in 1999 by the space probe Deep Space 1 at a distance of 28 km and also photographed, but only from a distance of 13500 km due to a technical error.

Helin discovered some comets alone or with others, among them 111P / Helin-Roman-Crockett , 117P / Helin-Roman-Alu , 132P / Helin-Roman-Alu , 151P / Helin and 152P / Helin-Lawrence .

The rediscovery of comet 107P / Wilson-Harrington and the establishment of its identity with the asteroid 1979 VA, which was then given the final name (4015) Wilson-Harrington, are also attributed to it. Although Albert George Wilson and Robert G. Harrington had discovered the body a few decades earlier, they did not manage to calculate a sufficiently precise orbit based on their observations, as Helin did, which is why it was lost again.

The asteroid (3267) Glo is named after her, namely after her nickname Glo . The USS Helin (NCC-1692) as part of the Star Trek universe bears her name and appeared for the first time in a mission overview in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Land . The asteroid (2430) Bruce Helin is named after her son.

In some sources she is also called Eleanor Kay Helin.

Web links

  • Contribution to Women in Science & Technology , WITI Museum, June 12, 1998 (English)

Individual evidence

  1. MPML
  2. ^ Minor Planet Discoverers
  3. ^ Eleanor Helin Exhibit. Searching the Sky for Dangerous Neighbors. Palomar Observatory, March 26, 2019, accessed on July 13, 2019 : "The USS Helin (NCC-1692), a starship in the Star Trek franchise, was named after her for" having discovered an unprecedented number of asteroids and comets. ”“
  4. ^ Lutz D. Schmadel : Dictionary of Minor Planet Names . Fifth Revised and Enlarged Edition. Ed .: Lutz D. Schmadel. 5th edition. Springer Verlag , Berlin , Heidelberg 2003, ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7 , pp.  186 (English, 992 pp., Link.springer.com [ONLINE; accessed on August 11, 2019] Original title: Dictionary of Minor Planet Names . First edition: Springer Verlag, Berlin, Heidelberg 1992): “1977 VC. Discovered 1977 Nov. 8 by EF Helin and EM Shoemaker at Palomar. "