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18610 Arthurdent

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Title: 18610 Arthurdent  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Arthur Dent, Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's, Starkenburg Observatory, Hitchcon
Collection: Astronomical Objects Discovered in 1998, Main-Belt Asteroids, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

18610 Arthurdent

18610 Arthurdent
Discovered by Felix Hormuth
Discovery date February 7, 1998
Main belt
Orbital characteristics[4]
Epoch May 19, 2011 (JD 2455700.5)
Aphelion 462.727 Gm (3.093 AU)
Perihelion 299.534 Gm (2.002 AU)
381.130 Gm (2.548 AU)
Eccentricity 0.214
1485.321 d (4.07 a)
Average orbital speed
18.44 km/s
Inclination 5.586°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions ? km
Mass ?×10? kg
Mean density
? g/cm³
Equatorial surface gravity
? m/s²
Equatorial escape velocity
? km/s
Sidereal rotation period
? d
Temperature ~174 K

18610 Arthurdent is a small main belt asteroid, discovered by Felix Hormuth of Starkenburg Observatory on February 7, 1998.[1][2] It is named after Arthur Dent, the bewildered hero of Douglas Adams's radio play and book The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.[3]

The naming of this asteroid was announced by the Minor Planet Center in Minor Planet Circular MPC 42677 on May 9, 2001.[4] Two days later, on May 11, 2001, Adams died of a heart attack in Santa Barbara, California.[5] The near coincidence of these events led to some media reports of the asteroid naming appearing after Adams's death was reported, and to assumptions that the two events occurred on the same day, even by those connected to the naming.

You may have heard the sad news that Douglas Adams passed away last Friday. By accident on the same day the naming of minor planet (18610) Arthurdent was announced by the Minor Planet Center. We wanted to make Mr. Adams a joy, but did never dare to think that he wouldn't be able to receive this surprise, when we sent our name proposal to the MPC a few months back.
— Reiner M. Stoss, Starkenburg Observatory, Cambridge Conference Correspondence for 14 May 2001[6]

The naming citation reads:

(18610) Arthurdent = 1998 CC2
Discovered 1998 Feb. 7 at Starkenburg Observatory.
The earthling Arthur Dent is confronted with the adversities of life, the universe and everything in a highly amusing and entertaining way in Douglas Adam's famous five-volume trilogy The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Discovery Circumstances: Numbered Minor Planets (15001)-(20000)
  2. ^ Citation for (18610)
  3. ^ Planetary tribute to Hitch Hiker author as Arthurdent named (Tim Radford, The Guardian, Wednesday, May 16, 2001)
  4. ^ a b "New Names of Minor Planets" (PDF),  
  5. ^
  6. ^ CCNet 67/2001 – 14 May 2001

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