Asteroid has Tafelmusik's name on it
There's a new asteroid in the solar system, and its name is Tafelmusik.
Well, not actually new — it's been circulating around our sun somewhere between Mars and Jupiter for just over four billion years — but it was assigned a name just last Friday.
The International Astronomical Union, the organization that recognizes celestial bodies, made the official designation to acknowledge the Galileo Project by the Toronto-based Baroque orchestra.
The Galileo Project, a concert of music which reflects the artistic and scientific world of the 17th and 18th centuries, was created to celebrate the International Year of Astronomy (2009), which falls on the 400th anniversary of Galileo's first use of the astronomical telescope.
John Percy, a University of Toronto astronomy professor who was astronomical adviser to the Galileo Project, proposed naming the asteroid after Tafelmusik to the IAU.
The IAU does not sell the names of celestial bodies, but will attach designations at the request of its members.
In its citation, the IAU recognized the highly acclaimed concert series, which uses multimedia to invoke the music of the spheres.
The concert includes Vivaldi's Harmony of the Spheres, music from Phaeton and music from the time of Galileo.
Asteroid Tafelmusik was discovered by David Balam, a Victoria astronomer, on Aug. 21, 2004. It's never been seen close enough to measure, but is probably an irregular shaped rock a few kilometres wide.