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Hebrew University Takes its Place in the Stars

Former alum rewards university with the naming of a planet

By: David Shear
Published: January 17th, 2013 in News » Israel

At the end of Mel Brook’s 1981 classic, History of the World, a teaser trailer is presented, narrated by Brooks, promoting the sequel, which promises to deliver great scenes including Hitler on Ice, a Viking’s funeral, and, of course, Jews in Space.

Well, Jews in Space isn’t that farfetched these days with a number of Jews making the trek “the final frontier”, and now comes word that Hebrew University is expanding…to space.

Well, sort of.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named an asteroid in honor of the university – with the appropriate moniker of “Hebrewu.”

Asteroid 271,763 was discovered by David H. Levy – who completed a PhD in English at the university in 2010 - and Wendee Levy from Arizona, and Tom Glinos from Canada. Levy is a Canadian astronomer and science writer known for his co-discovery of the Comet Shoemaker–Levy 9, which collided with Jupiter in 1994.

“Congratulations on being one of the few universities to be honored with a world in space,” Levy wrote, explaining the rare honour to the university. “We have wanted to do this ever since I was awarded a PhD in June 2010 by the Hebrew University, one of the leading research institutions in the world. Perhaps someday the university, which I am proud to call an alma mater, will be able to put this new piece of real estate to good academic use. In the meantime, it is a world with sunrises and sunsets, much smaller but similar to our own.”

“The Hebrew University is delighted by Dr. Levy’s extraordinary gesture and proud to join the exclusive list of institutions whose names are recorded among the stars,” said Hebrew University President Prof. Menahem Ben-Sasson. “The gesture aptly symbolizes the Hebrew University’s ambition to break through the limits of knowledge and research.”to that which transpires beyond our planet’s atmosphere, this gesture aptly symbolizes the Hebrew University’s ambition to break through the limits of knowledge and research.”

Related articles: Hebrew University.Hebrewu, Planets, Space
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