Flagstaff Festival of Science - Asteroid Winners

Flagstaff Festival of Science

Asteroid Naming Contest

Contest Winners


Orbit Diagram
1996 Contest Winner - Derekson Bert, Dinnebito Arizona

    Asteroid (5460) = Tsé Naat'a'í

    The name is ``Flying Rock" or ``Rock Which Flies" in the Navajo language, and signifies not only the motion of the asteroid through space but also gives recognition to the contribution of the Navajo culture and language to the Flagstaff area. The name was suggested by Derekson Bert, eighth-grade student at Rocky Ridge School in Dinnebito, Arizona, as part of a contest to name this asteroid in conjunction with the 1996 Flagstaff Festival of Science.

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1997 Contest Winner - Alice Dennis, Flagstaff Arizona

    Asteroid (6229) = Tursachan

    The name is ``Standing Stones" in Gaelic, a term used to refer to the stones placed during neolithic times into small or large groups, often into circles, throughout the British Isles. Many of these arrangements exhibit astronomical alignments, and are thought to have been used in at least some cases to track the progression of seasons and mark the occurrence of other significant astronomical events. The name was suggested by Alice Cathryne Dennis, seventh-grade student at The Mountain School in Flagstaff, Arizona, as winner of a contest to name this asteroid in conjunction with the 1997 Flagstaff Festival of Science.

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1998 Contest Winner - Michael Gibson, Flagstaff Arizona

    Asteroid (10039) = Keet Seel

    The name is from the exceptionally well-preserved prehistoric cliff dwelling located in Tsegi Canyon, in what is now Navajo National Monument in northern Arizona. It was built and occupied from the 10th through the 13th centuries by the Kayenta Anasazi or Hisatsinom (``ancient ones" in Hopi), likely ancestors of the modern Hopi people. The origin of the name is apparently from a Navajo phrase ``kits'iil" or ``kin ts'iil" meaning ``houses that have been left behind." The name was suggested by Michael T. Gibson of Flagstaff, Arizona, as winner of a contest to name this asteroid in conjunction with the 1998 Flagstaff Festival of Science.

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1999 Contest Winner - Van Campbell, Flagstaff Arizona

    Asteroid (6370) = Malpais

    The name is from the Spanish for ``bad country" or ``badlands", and was originally applied by early explorers of the American Southwest to countryside strewn with rough lava flows or rocks, difficult to traverse by foot, horseback or wagon. The name is now used also for the rock found in such country, used for stone building construction. The name was suggested by Van Francis Campbell of Flagstaff, Arizona, fifth grade student at Christensen Elementary School, as winner of a contest to name this asteroid in conjunction with the 1999 Flagstaff Festival of Science.

    See images of Malpais here.

Orbit Diagram

2000 Contest Winner - Jesse Roberts, Camp Verde, Arizona

    Asteroid (11831) = Quivira

    Quivira is the name of a place to which Francisco Vasquez de Coronado was led in 1541 by an Amerindian guide named "El Turko," who said there could be found "trees hung with golden bells and people whose pots and pans were beaten gold." Upon arrival, the location and was found inhabited only by the Wichita tribe in what is now Kansas. The name was suggested by Jesse Roberts of Camp Verde, Arizona, as winner of a contest to name this asteroid in conjunction with the 2000 Flagstaff Festival of Science.

    See images of Quivira here.

Orbit Diagram

Return to Asteroid Contest page

This page was last updated 11 September 2002