Maria Antonia Munar, president of the council of Majorca, announced yesterday that the name given to the asteroid identified by the Majorcan Observatory in 1997 is Ramon Llull. The name was chosen because it was the 700th anniversary of the publication of Llull's Tractatus Nau d'Astronomia and was a way of honouring “an historical figure of our island.” She was speaking at the official presentation of the asteroid which formed part of the Diada de Mallorca, or Majorca Day activities. Salvador Sánchez, the Observatory's director, said that the asteroid is 13 kms long and was discovered by Manuel Blasco, a member of the Observatory's team. He added that when Llull was a student at the Sorbonne in 1297, he was criticised by scientists of the day for his theory about the existence of this asteroid, which can be seen with a medium-range telescope. Sanchez added that of all the asteroids discovered by the Observatory, this one is the closest to earth.


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