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The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has officially named an asteroid after the recently-deceased Scottish author Iain Banks, a 6.1 km (3.8 mile) "stony" rock in the main asteroid belt orbiting the Sun. Dr Jose Luis Galache of the Minor Planets Centre (MPC) heard about Bank's diagnosis of cancer and, as a reader of his …
Please don't give them any ideas.
Also for an asteroid it should have been know as the Iainmbanks
Well, he was scottish.
(I write as someone far, far more scottish than him, coming from the area around John O Groats...;-) )
Utterly top notch way to remember Mr Banks, I can't think of any reason why he would not have approved of such shenanigans.
What a perfect way to honour him.
Indeed, although given it's science and space it should probably be called IainMBanks?
What a wonderful idea (although, given the his habits, iainmbanks may have been more apposite...)
It's actually quite clever, they can now name another object as iainmbanks thus honouring him twice.
shit hows he going to write books now why didnt they leave him as a human everyone knows asteroids just float around and dont do shit. some more words so my comment doesnt end with the word shit. shit
Luckily the Asteroid was not named "Rasd-Codurersa Diziet Embless Sma da' Marenhide" or there would be headspinning.
Although I always thought of her looking as Maetel... where is there no Asteroid Maetel, huh?
Great author. Maybe one day the 'Iain Banks' asteroid will become a Culture 'rock'. If so, the name will be a bit strait laced - no patch on such gems as the 'Experiencing A Significant Gravitas Shortfall', but perhaps in the tradition of the 'Bora Horza Gobuchul'. RIP.
this makes me very happy to hear. and a little less sad at his passing.
As others have said, i think it's something that Mr Banks would have gotten a buzz from too.
Special mission to Iainbanks to install a shrubbery?
As the person who submitted the name request to the IAU, I'd like to clarify that one of the rules of asteroid nomenclature is that the name be a single word, pronounceable in its original language. As such, Iainmbanks did not qualify. It was my first choice but I was quickly informed it wouldn't fly, so Iainbanks it had to be. The other option was Iainmenziesbanks, which just seemed too wordy.
There's another rule that says you can't name more than one asteroid after any given person, so I'm afraid one asteroid is all Iain is getting.
Minor Planet Center
Thanks for the explanation and thanks for the deed too.
Seems a nice way to remember such a great author.
Thanks for doing this - even if he didn't live to see it become official, do you know if he knew that he had been nominated?
Thanks for the explanation, M Galuche ! But given Mr Bank's own proclivities with regard to nomenclature, would it not have been still more apt to give the asteroid a name like Couldn't help stopping in for a drink on the way to ... ?...
Should that not be "Human Culture"?
Thumbs up for the rest of it.
As long as he gets a small whisky asteroid for company.
Seriously though, what a fantastic way for his name to live forever, aside from his awesome books that is.
Beats the hell out of a wee blue plaque.
Seems the asteroid is probably big enough too. I'm not sure you could hide a GCU in there. Maybe some ROUs.
I propose the next steps are:
2. send robot spacecraft
3. hollow out a nice big cylinder
4. get it spinning to simulate gravity
5. err did I miss out the bit about inventing a way of sourcing free energy from the vacuum?