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Minor Planet (40463) Frankkameny

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Aaron Price
Aaron Price's picture
Minor Planet (40463) Frankkameny


Kudos to Doc Kinne and Gary Billings for their excellent work in helping establish minor planet (40463) Frankkameny. This is an example of the AAVSO in its finest form. Doc has been working on Dr. Kameny's recognition for years and it was a pleasure to get regular updates on him as his research and efforts slowly bore fruit (including his excitement when he finally met the guy). This was bookended by the excellent discovery of Dr. Kameny's dissertation in our archives by Matt Templeton and Gary Billings' thoughtful application of his hard-earned minor planet discoveries. It's cool stuff all around! Doc wrote a recent staff blog describing the story. And now the Washington Post has an article about it. I thought it would be appropriate to create a forum thread to celebrate the announcement and give kudos to the team that helped make this happen.


kqr's picture
It's amazing and rather

It's amazing and rather gratifying sometimes to realize the teamwork some things take. Sometimes no one even knows all the members of the team you're on.

For example, I found out this morning that Dr. Jane Rigby, Deputy Operations Project Scientist for the James Webb Telescope, was (40463) Frankkameny's Guardian Angel in the background. It turns out that the name had been rejected on political grounds in April of this year. Somehow Jane found out about that and went to bat for (40463) Frankkameny by sending an email to the Minor Planet Center, successfully reframing Dr. Kameny not as a political activist but correctly as a Civil Rights activist. During the June review the name of (40463) was looked at again, and this time it went through.

kqr's picture
So, the press has been awash

So, the press has been awash in stories about (40463) Frankkameny. But what about its namesake? Who was Dr. Frank Kameny?

Well, yes, Frank does have an entry in that "Repository of All Human Knowledge," Wikipedia. But now a video biography of sorts has been made by one of our own colleagues and, for me, a fellow member of the Task Force that created the Working Group for LGBTQ Equality within the AAS - Dr. Jane Rigby, Deputy Operations Project Scientist for the James Webb Telescope.

Jane gets it right, and managed to produce the best overview of Dr. Kameny's life I've yet seen.


Meanwhile, I am also pleased to announce that Minor Planet (40463) Frankkameny now has its own official Wikipedia entry!

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