Asteroids (75562) Wilkening and (25760) Annaspitz

Early this year, the International Astronomical Union announced the naming of asteroids after two women with strong ties to LPL.

Laurel Wilkening Anna Spitz

Asteroid 1999 YV 22 (discovered December 31, 1999, MPC 79104) has been officially designated (75562) Wilkening and asteroid 2000 BF34 (discovered December 31, 2000, MPC 82401) has been officially designated (25760) Annasptiz. Both asteroids were discovered by LPL's Catalina Sky Survey.

Laurel Wilkening was on the LPL faculty from 1973 to 1983 and served as PTYS/LPL Head and Director from 1981 to 1983. She is now retired and living in Tucson. More about Laurel Wilkening's fascinating life is available from a 2001 NASA oral history project ("Herstory") interview available online from NASA Johnson Space Center.

Anna Spitz received her Ph.D. working with Professor William Boynton in 1991 and is currently Education and Public Outreach lead for the OSIRIS-REx mission.

Congratulations to Dr. Wilkening and Dr. Spitz!