484 Pittsburghia

This minor planet is named after the city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States. This name was chosen by discoverer Max Wolf in honor of John Brashear, an astronomical instrument maker and native Pittsburghian [1]. He designed the double-camera telescope that Wolf used to discover this asteroid, and others. Wolf offered to name two asteroids after Brashear and his wife, but they declined, and he instead named this one afer his hometown and another after its sister city Allegheny.

Pittsburgh was founded in 1758, and is nicknamed "Steel City," for its historic and modern role in the American steel industry. Seems like a nice city, despite the famously lackluster name.

The symbol of this minor planet is a simplification of the coat of arms that appears on the city's seal and flag, the one that was inspired by the personal arms of the city's namesake, William Pitt. It is a shield, horizontally bisected, with an asteroidal star in the upper left and right corners and a third at the bottom. I chose to use three stars instead of three tiny circles in this symbol partially in reference to Brashear's prolific service to astronomy, and partially in reference to the three stars in the logo for the Steelers, the beloved local American football team.


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[1] http://johnbrashear.tripod.com/askbrashear.htm


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