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When the Reverend S. F. Gilman, 1811, wrote in such fanciful terms of Harvard shining as a star "calm rising through change and through storm," he was nearer the cold, stellar truth than he knew. For there is a star, or rather an asteroid, bearing the name of John Harvard through the outer reaches of the universe.
Shapley is Godfather
The godfather of this celestial child of the Harvard line is Dr. Harlow Shapley, Paine Professor of Practical Astronomy, and Director of the Harvard College Observatory, who has recently named 14 small planets or asteroids photographically discovered by the late Reverend J. H. Metcalf. To one of these planetoids, which labored under the title of 1912 PZ, Professor Shapley gave the name of the University.
Other names of the group celebrate famous wordly municipalities. Botolphia and Cantabria are the representatives in the court of the sky of Boston and Cambridge, and Portlandia and Winchester are the heavenly types of their respective boroughs. To two other asteroids Professor Shapley assigned the names Arequipa and Mandeville, commemorating the branches of the College Observatory. A personal touch is given to the general christening by the naming of three tiny bodies after Dr. Metcalf, Professor G. E. Bond, the first director of the Observatory, and the late Professor E. C. Pickering, director for 40 years.
Metcalf Was Great Discoverer
These minor planets vary in size from a few miles in diameter to 200 miles, and revolve around the sun between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. They are so small that they are mostly discovered photographically. Dr. Metcalf was one of the most successful astronomers in so discovering these bodies.
The planet Harvard was discovered in 1912. It is of the twelfth magnitude, which means that it is easily visible with a telescope of ten inches aperture. Probably, however, the object has never been seen visibly, although numerous photographic observations have been made of it.
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