Auburn professor has asteroid named after him

Auburn professor has asteroid named after him

AUBURN, AL (WSFA) - An Auburn University professor has joined in elite group of scientist to have an asteroid named after him.

Auburn University professor, Masatoshi Hirabayashi, was taken by surprise after learning about this rare opportunity.

"A lot of scientists want to have their asteroids, and I'm one of them right now. So I'm really happy," said Hirabayashi.

The International Astronomical Union is responsible for selecting asteroid names based on contributions to planetary science.

"My contributions to studies of asteroids and comets, that was one of the biggest impacts. They evaluated my study and I was selected so it's really great," Hirabayashi said.

Hirabayashi says he plans to travel to Israel to view his asteroid in February of 2018.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.