Asteroid Named in Honor of Space Studies Faculty Member Sherry Fieber-Beyer
The International Astronomical Union has bestowed upon Sherry Fieber-Beyer an asteroid named in her honor. The Minor Planet Center released the following citation:
“(14825) Fieber-Beyer = 1985 RQ
Discovered 1985 Sept. 14 by E. Bowell at the Anderson Mesa Station of the Lowell Observatory.
Sherry K. Fieber-Beyer (b. 1975) is a post-doctoral researcher and Director of Undergraduate Studies at the Department of Space Studies, University of North Dakota. She specializes in the spectroscopic study of minor planets and the source regions of meteorites.”
(14825) Fieber-Beyer is a main belt asteroid approximately 4 km in diameter. It is located just beyond the 3:1 proper motion resonance (Kirkwood Gap) at 2.50 AU. The 3:1 Kirkwood gap is a major escape hatch from the asteroid belt and supplies a significant fraction of the meteoroids delivered into Earth-crossing orbits which can fall as meteorites. Under support from the NASA Planetary Geology & Geophysics program and the NASA Planetary Astronomy program, Sherry has carried out a major program to investigate asteroids near the 3:1 Kirkwood gap in order to identify the actual parent bodies of specific meteorite types.
There are now four faculty members in the Department of Space Studies with asteroids named for them. Sherry joins Mike Gaffey, Ron Fevig, and Paul Hardersen in this honor. You can read the Grand Forks Herald article here.