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Asteroid Named After Former MTA President Dr. E. Sylvester Vizi

By Hungary Today // 2016.12.21.

Neuroscientist and former president of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences (MTA) E. Sylvester Vizi received this year’s award for disseminating scientific knowledge to members of the public which comes with an asteroid being named after the recipient. The award was established by the Club of Scientific Journalists in 1996 and has been granted annually to recognise scientists for their efforts to popularise science.

Dr. E. Sylvester Vizi received The Science Educator of the Year award on Tuesday in the Uránia observatory – also a newly discovered planetoid has been named after him.

The prestigious award was founded by a club of Hungarian science journalists (TÚK) 20 years ago. The award goes to a scientist who does the most to make natural sciences popular every year. The first recipient in 1998 was professor of physics Károly Simonyi, father of Hungarian-born American computer programmer Charles Simonyi. Other past recipients include immunologist András Falus, neurobiologist Tamás Freund and ethologist Vilmos Csányi. Between 1998 and 2010, stars discovered by Hungarians were named after the recipients and since 2010, asteroids.

The award is special because they name a heavenly body after the recipient. The discoverer  of the planet has the right to name it, and planets discovered by Hungarian astronomers and the names go to the awarded scientist. After this the International Astronomical Union finishes the procedure. This year is special because the planet was found on New Year’s Eve, which is called Syilvester in Hungarian, so the names match the date of the discovery.

Academy member László L Kiss told MTI that those who discover stars and asteroids have the right to name them, so whenever a recipient for the award is selected, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) is contacted with the request.

The naming of the Vizi asteroid became official on December 19 after the IAU’s publication of newly named asteroids on Monday, Kiss said. It had been discovered by Krisztián Sárneczky, an employee of the MTA’s Konkoly Thege Miklós Astronomical Institute. “It is no accident that this asteroid was picked to be named after Szilveszter E Vizi, considering that I first saw it on December 31, 2008, the night of Sylvester,” Sárneczky said.

The Vizi E. Szilveszter planet is located around the asteroid belt between Jupiter and Mars, a complete orbit around the Sun occurs every five and half years, and it is three times further from the Sun than the Earth. You can read our interview with Dr. Vizi here where the MTA President expresses how Europe is witnessing a great migration.

via Index, HungaryMatters