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An asteroid named after poet Mykhailo Petrenko

19 November, 18:00

While quite a few people know nothing about Mykhailo Petrenko (1817-62), a Kharkiv Romantic poet of the first half of the 19th century, it seems that many Ukrainians all over the world know the lyrics of the song “I Gaze at the Sky,” without necessarily knowing that he was the author of this legendary poem. Scientists of Andrushivka Observatory discovered an asteroid, registered by the Minor Planet Center of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) as planet No. 274843. The IAU has recently officially confirmed on its website that the asteroid has been named Mykhailopetrenko (IAU registration number 90380).

Candidate of Science in Physics and Mathematics Yurii Ivashchenko and his companion, local amateur astronomer Petro Ostafiichuk can be without exaggeration called the asteroids’ godparents. It looks like the name of Petrenko will be included in the next edition of The Names of Ukraine in Space, the book authored by many generations of Ukrainian scientists and astronomers. Also, the next edition of the Ukrainian space encyclopedia The Ukrainian Space (a popular science publication of A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA publishing house), which mentions the first cosmonaut of Ukrainian descent Pavlo Popovych singing “I Gaze at the Sky” when orbiting Earth on board spaceship Vostok-4 in 1962, can add to its stories the fact that the Universe now has an asteroid named after Ukrainian romantic poet Petrenko, who emphasized the sky theme in his works. Petrenko saw the sky as a limitless space which his soul could turn to under any circumstances and find calm, a space where he wanted to fly like a fast-moving eagle, leaving all the issues and troubles on the ground.

Illustration from the book Mykhailo Petrenko. Life and Creative Work

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