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Lowell Observatory Pushes To Name an Asteroid "Trayvon" 588

Flash Modin writes "The observatory where Pluto was discovered is pushing to name an asteroid after a black teenager killed in a controversial confrontation in Florida last year. William Lowell Putnam III says his family has identified with the cause of African American rights, and thus an asteroid named after Trayvon Martin is perfectly appropriate. Putnam is the sole trustee of the observatory, which was founded by Percival Lowell during his search for canals on Mars. Astronomers at the observatory discovered the asteroid in 2000, but it has not been formally named. Putnam has already asked the Minor Planet Center once to designate the asteroid 'Trayvon,' but they told him the designation was 'premature.' Now that there's been a verdict, the observatory is reapplying in hopes the naming body will see things different."
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Lowell Observatory Pushes To Name an Asteroid "Trayvon"

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  • no (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:09PM (#44771391)

    injecting stupid political games into space has got to be a new low in astronomy

  • by Tablizer ( 95088 ) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:13PM (#44771413) Journal

    It's being followed by a pale asteroid named Zimmerman.

  • Victim Belt (Score:5, Insightful)

    by meerling ( 1487879 ) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:16PM (#44771429)
    I don't really think naming celestial bodies after victims is a good idea.
    Astronomers usually want to inspire hope, and looking up at things named after victims just doesn't seem right.
  • by locopuyo ( 1433631 ) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:19PM (#44771447) Homepage
    Blow it up!
  • by Guy From V ( 1453391 ) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:41PM (#44771595) Homepage
    Putting aside the fact that Martin was a racist thug who got killed by someone in self defense...and that merely bringing his name and media/court situation up he was involved in that is currently still getting people across the country all pissed off at each other if its even discussed...and that this is probably just an attention-whore publicity act...and that I doubt he had much to do in the field of the sciences...what was I talking about? Oh, yeah let's name an asteroid after him. Whatever.
  • by Stickerboy ( 61554 ) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:45PM (#44771619) Homepage

    "William Lowell Putnam III says his family has identified with the cause of African American rights, and thus an asteroid named after Trayvon Martin is perfectly appropriate."

    So a teenager whom a jury said was shot in self-defense (or there was no convincing evidence otherwise) is perfectly appropriate? Might as well name the asteroid "Al Sharpton".

    How about a black scientist, like George Washington Carver? Or Mae Jemison or Guion Bluford, since this is space and asteroids we're talking about? Maybe a Rosa or a Frederick or a W.E.B. might have done a thing or two for civil rights and African Americans?

    “As I see it, the social fairness showed to Trayvon Martin was very sadly lacking.”

    Oh, I don't know, dominating the cable news cycle for months on end, hundreds of thousands of people taking selfies wearing hoodies and national black leaders/celebrities calling for a Double Jeopardy trial and/or punishment for George Zimmerman seems to show some kind of social backing.

    Why don't we start enshrining every person that gets shot in a bar fight next?

  • Name Asteroid after Trayvon. A few weeks later it collides with a smaller rock, that nudges it into a path such that it turns Miami into a large smoking hole in the ground.
  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Thursday September 05, 2013 @11:54PM (#44771679)

    Perhaps these two [cnn.com] will get even bigger asteroids!

    We can name some ice chunks in Saturn's belt after all of the black kids beating up [examiner.com] and killing [theblaze.com] white people over Treyvon.

    • I clicked on that examiner link. I was greeted with 2 (that's T-W-O) banner ads at the top of the screen for a stupid Steve Buscemi show that I never got past the first episode of. These banners then expanded *themselves* to fill the entire screen, twice. I contracted them. I began reading the article. About one paragraph in, a video advertisement swooped in from the bottom and began playing itself. It had a little "X" at the top, so I clicked that X. As soon as I clicked the X, a popup advertisement appear
  • disturbing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stenvar ( 2789879 ) on Friday September 06, 2013 @12:18AM (#44771809)

    Regardless of the details of the case itself, it's pretty clear that Martin was a racist (he used racial insults against Caucasians). He does not deserve to have an asteroid named after him, and if the civil rights movement picks him as a symbol, it will only hurt their cause.

  • If these fools name some hapless piece of drifting interplanetary space debris "Trayvon" in their misguided attempt to glorify a dead, racist, drug-abusing, violent criminal thug, how long until there's an IGG funding drive for development of a "Zimmerman" missile to destroy it?

    Kind of a long way to go (in multiple senses of the phrase) to get people interested in space again, isn't it?

    I think these people have had far too much time on their hands for far too long.

    "Space Madness" has obviously taken hold of

  • In related news, and in a fitting analogy, the Observatory is recommending that a newly identified black hole be named "Zimmerman."
  • From TFA (Score:3, Funny)

    by Cyfun ( 667564 ) on Friday September 06, 2013 @01:02AM (#44772033) Homepage

    "When Putnam originally suggested the name to Minor Planet Center, they responded, "That's real retarded, sir."

  • What rights??? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by johnlcallaway ( 165670 ) on Friday September 06, 2013 @01:26AM (#44772137)
    So exactly what African American rights is it that William Lowell Putnam III says his family has identified with, and why are they any different than the rights any other person living in the US has? Is it the right to beat up someone because you find them creepy?? To pummel someone just because you think they are following you, even though they haven't made any overtly threatening moves? Simple because someone is a racist and thinks that if a light skinned person is following them the 'crackah' must be up to no good??

    Or is it some other made-up rights that I'm not aware of???

    It's only controversial to those that tried their best to turn it into a race thing instead of a self-defense thing. The racists that forced Florida to have a wasted trial with no real evidence for the prosecution just to appease so many racists. Those that want to ignore the evidence presented in court and play 'what if' games that don't use any facts at all but assumptions made my people who weren't even there.

    Go ahead .. name your asteroid Trayvon. It will still be an insignificant speck of dust in the universe. Kind of fitting really ... an insignificant asteroid named for someone that tried to kill someone else. That if he had lived could very well be in jail by now.
    • People aren't thinking any longer. They are reacting with emotion and parroting talking points. "Why are we in Iraq?" "Freedom!" "Because 9-1-1!" People seriously have no interest in facts or knowledge nor care to try to understand what's what and what's going on.

      It has gotten past the point where I don't want to live on this planet any more. There is just no other planet to live on right now.

      • by Bob_Who ( 926234 )

        It has gotten past the point where I don't want to live on this planet any more. There is just no other planet to live on right now.

        Don't let the turkeys get you down. Feelings will pass eventually. Just ignore the noise and do the right thing. Karma happens.

  • by DavidinAla ( 639952 ) on Friday September 06, 2013 @02:24AM (#44772347)
    Trying to name an asteroid after Martin is an overt political act that has no place in the naming of such bodies. It's absurd and wrong.
  • Named for Danish film director Morten Lindberg would be cool.

  • No contact details could be found for either the owner, or the observatory, but at least here is their Facebook page: linkie [facebook.com]
  • Lord Jesus Christ (Score:2, Informative)

    by b4upoo ( 166390 )

    Trayvon Martin was clearly a violent criminal. Why in the world does anyone feel sorry for that creep. He was attempting to murder Mr. Zimmerman when he was shot. Is that really hard to understand?

  • http://penny-arcade.com/comic/2012/05/07 [penny-arcade.com]
    naming anything in space is laughable when you consider what you are in relation to it.
  • Sure why not immortalize a young man that was nothing more than a thug, punk, thief and drug user attacking a Latino guy. There are many more people deserving of such than him.

You will never amount to much. -- Munich Schoolmaster, to Albert Einstein, age 10