Rafael Nadal has a heavenly body
Originally published on 26/02/10 11:05
Rafael Nadal is officially a star – well, a shooting star.
A recently discovered asteroid has been named after the Spaniard, in the wake of his Wimbledon victory earlier this month over five-time champion Roger Federer. Nadal, who also has four French Open titles, became the first Spaniard to win Wimbledon in more than 40 years.
The Rafael Nadal asteroid, previously known by the less catchy moniker “128036”, is four kilometres in diameter and travels through space at a speed of 20 km per second. It is currently between Mars and Jupiter, according to the Astronomical Observatory of Majorca, who discovered the planetoid in 2003.
The decision to name the asteroid after Nadal, a Majorca native, was taken by the International Astronomical Union after a request by the Spanish observatory, who wanted to pay tribute “to one of the greatest tennis players of all time” – and presumably couldn’t find enough asteroids to honour the entire Spanish football squad.
Nadal has already been informed of the honour and has been invited to visit the observatory to see his space rock.