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Asteroid 4942 Munroe

The International Astronomical Union has named an asteroid after former NASA roboticist Randall Munroe of xkcd. The new name 4942 Munroe is a vast improvement over its pre-name designation of (4942) 1987 DU6. Munroe wrote about the honor:

The first thing I did was try to figure out whether 4942 Munroe was big enough to pose a threat to Earth. I was excited to learn that, based on its albedo (brightness), it’s probably about 6-10 kilometers in diameter. That’s comparable in size to the one that killed the dinosaurs—definitely big enough to cause a mass extinction!

That's so cool! Find out more about the asteroid at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. It's pretty technical. -via Laughing Squid

(Image credit: Randall Munroe)


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