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Home > India > News > PTI

NASA names 'minor' planet after Indian

May 01, 2008 19:36 IST

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In a rare honour for an Indian, space agency NASA [Images] has named a 'minor' planet after a Kerala [Images] zoology professor in appreciation of his environmental research and campaigns.

Sainudeen Pattazhy, who teaches in a local college, was informed on Wednesday by Jet Propulsions Laboratory of the California Institute of Technology under NASA that minor planet '5178 No CD4' had been named after him.

The planet was discovered by US-based scientist Rajmohan in 1989, Sainudeen said.

According to Sainudeen, it was Rajmohan himself who proposed that the planet be given Sainudeen's name on coming to know of the research conducted by him on a host of ecological and environmental issues.

Sainudeen has published papers on such topics as "red rain" reported from some parts of Kerala a few years back, health hazards posed by mobile phone towers and the eco-biology of 'holy groves'.

Sainudeen said he was elated that the remote village Pattazhy in Kollam district has found a 'celestial niche'.

He told PTI: "As a researcher I am glad my work has been recognised by one of world's most authoritative institutions. I am also grateful to the magnanimity of the discoverer of the planet who proposed my name without knowing me personally."

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