Asteroid (5272) Dickinson

Named in honour of Terence Dickinson (b. 1943-11-10, d. 2023-02-01), Canada's foremost popularizer of astronomy. Terry, as he was known, became fascinated with astronomy at age 5, when he saw a brilliant meteor from the sidewalk in front of his home in Toronto. This early interest soon became the defining characteristic of Dickinson’s life. From 1973 to 1975 he was editor of Astronomy magazine, and he held scientific positions with the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, the Strasenburgh Planetarium in Rochester and the McLaughlin Planetarium in Toronto. Dickinson also taught astronomy at St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ontario. In 1994, he cofounded SkyNews, Canada’s national astronomy magazine, and was the editor for two decades. Dickinson was the author of 14 books, notably NightWatch, The Universe and Beyond, Exploring the Sky by Day and Exploring the Night Sky, the last of which received the New York Academy of Sciences Children's Science Book Award in 1988. For many years, he reached a wide Canadian audience every week with his astronomy column in The Toronto Star newspaper and on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation programs.

He received several national and international awards, among them the Royal Canadian Institute’s Sandford Fleming Medal for outstanding contributions to science communication, the New York Academy of Sciences Book of the Year Award and the Astronomical Society of the Pacific’s Klumpke-Roberts Award. A recipient of the Order of Canada, the nation’s highest civilian honor, he also received honorary doctorates from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario. (Name suggested and original citation provided by C. J. Cunningham, expanded with contributions from Alan Dyer.)

Orbit type: Main Belt Asteroid

Reference: MPC 23138

1981 QH2
Disc. Date: 
Bowell, E.
Disc. Place: 
Anderson Mesa