1978 VR9. Discovered 1978 Nov. 7 by E. F. Helin and S. J. Bus at Palomar.
Named in memory of George O. Abell (1927–1983), astronomer at the University of California at Los Angeles, noted author, lecturer, educator, popularizer of astronomy and long-time director of the Summer Science Program of Thacher School in Ojai, California. As a graduate student, he took a large fraction of the plates for the Palomar-National Geographic Sky Survey, and his analysis of them produced the Abell catalogue of rich clusters of galaxies. In addition, he discovered a new class of planetary nebulae and showed that planetary nebulae represent a normal phase in the evolution of solar-mass stars in the disks of galaxies. (M 11162)
Name proposed by the first discoverer following a suggestion from D. A. Pierce.
Obituaries published in Mercury, Vol. 12, No. 6, p. 186 (1983); Phys. Today, Vol. 37, No. 2, p. 76–77 (1984); Sky Telesc., Vol. 67, No. 1, p. 22 (1984); Mercury, Vol. 13, No. 4, p. 108–112 (1984);...