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Sent: Sunday, September 22, 2002 2:57 PM
Subject: Proposal of the naming of an asteroid
Subject : Proposal of the naming of an asteroid in honor of The Little Prince of Antoine de St Exupery.
I am a French amateur astronomer and I would like to present the following suggestion.
In 1943, Antoine de St Exupéry, a French pilot and forerunner of postal airmail, published Le petit prince (The Little Prince), a book that became a world best seller. An asteroid already holds St Exupery’s name, but it might be interesting to honor the character of the Little Prince, attributing to him also a planetoid.
In the book, his planet was the asteroid B612. This designation does not correspond to the present nomenclature of the IAU concerning minor planets. However, the number B612 exists in the hexadecimale base (widely used at the present time in computer science) and corresponds to the number 46610 in the decimale base. Thus, my suggestion would be to name the asteroid 46610, Petit Prince or B612.
Here’s hoping that this idea will be received well by the members of the Committee for Small Body Nomenclature.
Sent: Sunday, September 22, 2002 9:29 PM
Subject: RE- Proposal of the naming of an asteroid
Thank you for your suggestion. I am always pleased to see imaginative suggestions of names for minor planets, and yours is particularly interesting. There is a problem, however, and this is the "Petit Prince" cannot be used, because it is the name of the satellite of (45) Eugenia; and the name "B612" cannot be used, because it is not "pronounceable", and numerals cannot be used in names anyway. One possibility might be to use a name such as "Besixtwelve" or, better, "Besixdouze", which I think would be acceptable.
Brian G. Marsden
To: <email@example.com>; <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Monday, September 23, 2002 11:12 PM
Subject: Re: RE- Proposal of the naming of an asteroid
Dear M. Marsden
Oh yes, I think it's a good idea. I'll let you choose the best name between
"Besixdouze" (dear to the French's heart) and "Besixtwelve " (more
international). Maybe someone from your group will also find a good idea.
Sent: Saturday, September 28, 2002 3:15 PM
I like it in French (which is an official language of the International Astronomical Union), and Pam Kilmartin pointed out that we should therefore include the acute accent on the first syllable. I am currently trying to secure agreement from the Japanese discoverers.
Brian G. Marsden
Besixdouze 46610 Alias B612
(46610) B\'esixdouze = 1993 TQ1
Discovered 1993 Oct. 15 by K. Endate and K. Watanabe at Kitami.
In the hexadecimal system, the number 46610 translates into B612, the nonstandard designation of the fictitious but famous minor planet in "Le Petit Prince", the wonderful 1943 book by Antoine de St.\ Exup\'ery, a French pilot and pioneer in communication by airmail.