50 years of 'Caelumnoctu'
Party-goers included astronomers, broadcasters and celebrities, including yet another rock legend, Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones.
Compèred by British-born astronaut Piers Sellers, the party was video-recorded for broadcast on BBC-TV on May 6, to be preceded by a tribute programme from people who acknowledge Patrick’s influence on their interest in astronomy and science ( including Adam Hart-Davis promising a series on ‘What Patrick Moore has done for us’!).
Professor Iwan Williams of QMUL (past-president of IAU Division III on Planetary Sciences) presented a certificate recording the new name of asteroid 57424* - ‘Caelumnoctu’ (which, apparently, is ‘Sky at Night’ in Latin).
‘Moore’ was taken long ago for Minor Planet 2602 .
*The asteroid Caelumnoctu was discovered by the LINEAR programme at Socorro in 2001 and is a ‘Centaur’, an asteroid from the Kuiper Belt, orbiting between Jupiter and Neptune.