Tajikistan creates planet, names it after self

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If you have trouble making the planet out in the night sky, just remember that at this time of year it can be spotted just up and to the left of Russell’s Teapot.


Ah, Tajikistan. When will you learn? You may control space through your clever use of renaming, but Turkmenistan controlled time itself.

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Much ado about nothing - they’re just all worked up about asteroid 9014 Borat.


Hey, lets pause the “silly foreigners” angle for a second and think - and this isn’t at all as crazy as it sounds.

Based on the orbital period and distance they are clearly talking about something in the Mars-Jupiter asteroid belt.
And indeed there are very many asteroids that are classified as minor-planets Ceres being best known example, but the the list of what can be considered minor-planets is long.

So “one of the small planets of the solar system” makes perfect sense.

And “how it comes to be between Mars and Jupiter” makes perfect sense - its the very famous asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter , not exactly obscure.

“how it comes to have a 5 year orbit” - that’s perfectly fine for something in the asteroid belt.

So the article is basically saying
“we’ve discovered (or at least first to properly catalogue) a new minor-planet/asteroid in the asteroid belt and called it Tajikistan.”

Whether they discovered it first or have any right or authority to name is Tajikstan i don’t know and might be up for question. And what they mean by “scientists are now studying it” I’m not sure. Maybe there is a telescope/probe in a good spot right now.

But it doesn’t seem to be “lol those crazy foreigners” territory.
I am sure the general level of science reporting in the US and UK would be about the same accuracy as the Khovar article. I mean Boing Boing haven’t though about this very hard for example.


Thanks a lot for this, you wrote what I thought <smiley here, I hate the autoreplacing with images>

About the International Astrophysicists Union - couldn’t this be simple a translation issue? The International Astronomical Union exists and is the naming body for thingies in space like dwarf planets.

<a href=http://www.avesta.tj/eng/5958-minor-planet-named-after-tajikistan.html">Here’s another story that makes it clear that they’re talking about a minor planet. Here’s the complete IAU list of named minor planets, though. It was updated yesterday, and Tajikistan isn’t on there (yet). There are A LOT of named minor planets.

Oh, shit! But “Tadjikistan” is TOTALLY on that list. Alternate spelling!


Nice find. As the number is quite small I was sure this asteroid was discovered some time ago - and was (at least accoring to WP) correct: (2469) was discovered in 1970 by Tamara Smirnova and probably not named much later.

eta: maybe this is news because the asteroid was “upgraded” to minor planet?


OK; so in conclusion, there is a minor planet named after the country of Tajikistan (or Tadjikistan, or Tadzhikistan). The name is approved by the IAU and the object is listed in the directory of minor planets produced by the Minor Planet Center. It’s minor planet number 2469. You can look up the data describing it at the MPC website here. It was first observed in 1949; there have been 1200 observations since then, including 24 oppositions. It’s a well-observed object.

If I’m reading the data table correctly, the orbit of minor planet Tadjikistan has a semimajor axis of 3.1 AU. That’s about 450 million km, consistent with the article. The mean daily motion is 0.1798 degrees, which gives an orbital period of about 2000 days, or five and a half years (I think).


the name is at least since 5 years in official use - see archive.org’s first snapshot of the minor planet names list

yes, a period of 5.48 years - ignoring the rule “English is enough for everyone” one could read about this thingy also on Wikipedia ^^

Anyone can name absolutely anything, real or imagined, with any name they want. The trick is in getting other people to go along with it.

Calling it Tadjikistan is fine - calling it a planet is runs a serious risk of drawing the attention of Neil deGrasse Tyson

(this is a joke. I know that Tyson was not the first or the only person involved in the de-planetizing of Pluto - but he is the most famously associated with it)

They called it a “маленьких планет”. That’s a perfectly acceptable Russian translation of the English term “minor planet”, at least from a journalist’s point of view. I think a better technical translation might have been “малая планета”. But it’s kind of like the difference in using “small” vs. “little” in English, and not really a HUGE mistake, I don’t think.

So, small. Between Mars and Jupiter.
An asteroid. Lots of them. We can call one Tajikistan, if you want.

There’s probably a dodgy website where you pay a hundred bucks to name one.


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You want a minor planet? I can get you a minor planet, believe me. There are ways, Dude. You don’t wanna know about it, believe me.


You’re not gonna hurt anyone are ya?
I mean, I really want one. I need it, ya know.
Just. Don’ hurt no one. Not in a permanent way at least.

I’m naming you Snorglorglfrikfrak Ligopolus the Forty Eleventh. Who’s with me?

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