1288 Santa

Not to be confused with 136108 Haumea, which was given the informal nickname "Santa" upon discovery.

The referent of the name of this minor planet is unknown. It was named by a certain "E. de Caro," who calculated the orbit.

As much as it pains me to say, cannot conclude that this minor planet is named after Santa Claus, the mythical/fictional figure in American and European Christmas traditions. Given that it was named by an apparently Italian man around 1933, it is far more likely that Santa refers to the Italian word for "holy" or "blessed," or is a feminine form of the word santo, meaning "saint."

Thus, the symbol for this asteroid is a Christian cross with a tiny circle around the intersection. This circle represents divinity and holiness, like a halo, and the fact that it forms a small version of the symbol of Earth also alludes to the fact that in Catholicism, saints are the people living on Earth who are closest to divinity.

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