• Lutz D. Schmadel
Reference work entry

Introductory Remarks

The introduction to previous editions of the “Dictionary” started with statements deeply influenced by the breathtaking evolution of minor planet astronomy during the last decade. These sentences, characterized by a tone of disbelief and astonishment about the explosive dynamism of this field, hold more today than ever: “In a period when discoveries flourish, more and more minor planets are being discovered; it is inevitable that this dictionary can be no more than an inventory of the situation at this moment. A compilation of this nature is by definition bound to be out of date before it appears in print. There are, however, two reasons that justify this effort. After having numbered and named the 10000thminor planet, a historic goal was achieved. It seems reasonable to avail ourselves of this opportunity to summarize an interesting aspect of this narrow branch of astronomy during the past two centuries. The second reason is purely pragmatic: this seems to be...


Orbital Element Minor Planet Definitive Number Satisfactory Residual Major Planet 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lutz D. Schmadel
    • 1
  1. 1.Astronomisches Rechen-InstitutHeidelbergGermany