1206 Numerowia

This minor planet is named after Boris Vasilyevich Numerov (Борис Васильевич Нумеров) (1891 - 1941), Russian astronomer and geophysicist. He developed various methods and instruments for each of those fields, and in 1932 he thought about the possibility of using punch-card computers for stellar research.

What interests me about this asteroid is that, despite never having approached very close to the Earth, it is perhaps the only extant asteroid with a death count. It killed Boris Numerov.

In 1936, during a time at which many researchers and scientists in the Soviet Union were being persecuted, Numerov was arrested and sentenced to hard labor, on the charge of being a German spy. The evidence for this supposed treason was that the Germans — actually Karl Reinmuth in specific — named an asteroid after him. He was later executed.

The symbol for this asteroid is a monogram of the letters "БН" over a star-in-circle, in a pattern consistent with the symbols for other astronomers.

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