Asteroid Tatooine


Asteroid or minor planet 278141 Tatooine was named after the desert planet in the fictional Star Wars universe. The space rock, about one Kilometer in size, circles the Sun between the paths of Mars and Jupiter. It was discovered by the German amateur astronomers Stefan Karge and Erwin Schwab. They detected the minor planet from the Taunus Observatory, located in the Taunus mountain range close to Frankfurt am Main (Germany), using a cassegrain telescope with 0.6 meter diameter and the camera SBIG STL-11000M.

It was already discovered on 2007 February 15. But until the discoverers could suggest a Name, it took several years. Only when the discovery has been confirmed by other observatories and the calculated orbit reaches a high accuracy due to many measurements, the new object can be named. Minor planet Tatooine was named 10 years after the discovery.

The Taunus Observatory is operated by the Physikalischer Verein Frankfurt, which is one of Germany’s oldest associations, founded in 1824. With more than 100 minor planet discoveries it is one of the most successfull observatories in Germany.

The naming was published on 2017-June-30 in the minor planet circular # 105284 as follows:

(278141) Tatooine= 2007 CS61
Discovered 2007 Feb. 15 by S. Karge and E. Schwab at Taunus.
Tatooine is a desert planet in the fictional Star Wars universe. It is the home
planet of Anakin and Luke Skywalker.

Pictures of the teleskope used for discovery and the discoverers Stefan Karge (left) and Erwin Schwab (right)

Our planetary system at date of discovery © Erwin Schwab


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