Minor Planet Ratzinger

Joseph Ratzinger.jpgAs of today, there are over one million identified minor planets (aka asteroids) in the solar system. Not many are named after Christian figures. Pagan names abound, as you might expect. There are a few saints. And one pope, though minor planet number 8661 was verified (1990) and named (2000) before his election.

Here’s the wikipedia entry on this modest eight-mile wide object. An excerpt:

This minor planet was named after German Joseph Ratzinger (born 1927), then Cardinal and professor of theology, for the role he played in supervising the opening of the Vatican Secret Archives in 1998 to researchers investigating judicial errors against Galileo, after whom the minor planet 697 Galilea is named, and other medieval scientists.

The name was proposed by the asteroid’s first discoverer, Lutz Schmadel. The approved naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 23 May 2000.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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