A minor planet, between Mars and Jupiter, has been named after Pandit Jasraj, the doyen of Indian classical vocal music. International Astronomical Union (IAU) has named minor planet 2006 VP32 (number -300128), discovered on November 11, 2006, as 'Panditjasraj'. 'Panditjasraj' traverses the cosmos between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
"It was made official by IAU on September 23, followed by a citation," his daughter Durga Jasraj told PTI. With this honour, Padma Vibhushan recipient Pandit Jasraj has become the first Indian musician to join the galaxy of immortal composers like Mozart, Beethoven and Tenor Luciano Pavarotti.
"Blessed in this honour one can experience only god's grace," Pandit Jasraj said from the US. The citation says, "Sangeet Martand Pandit Jasraj is an exponent of Indian classical vocal music. A life dedicated to music, Jasraj is recipient of many awards, honours and titles. His distinctive voice traverses remarkable four and a half octave."
As minor planet discoveries are confirmed, they are given a permanent number by IAU's Minor Planet Centre. 'Panditjasraj' minor planet can be seen on their official website with the number 300128, the musical maestro's date of birth in reverse order.
What are Minor Planets?
Minor Planet is an astronomical object that can be an asteroid, dwarf planet, Kuiper belt objects, trojans or centaurs that is in direct orbit of the sun or any star of a respective solar system. These planets are neither identified as a comet not as a planet. International Astronomical Union (IAU) official used the term Minor Planet before 2006, how during a meeting in that year it was reclassified as small solar system bodies and dwarf planets.
As of 2019. Minor Planet Center was archived by 794,832 minor planets orbits out of which 541,128 has received permanent numbers. It is interesting to note that the first Minor Planet to be discovered was Ceres in the year 1801.
In the meantime, Pandit Jasraj is a renowned Indian classical vocalist who belongs to Mewati gharana. His rich musical career has spanned over 80 years during and is bestowed with numerous prestigious accolades.