First gay asteroid named

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We can only guess, but it may be the universe’s first gay asteroid.

Yesterday, openly gay Star trek actor George Takei had the asteroid formerly known as 1994 GT9 named after him.

Mr Takei was nominated because of his work with leading gay rights group Human Rights Campaign, where he was spokesman for their Coming Out Project.

“I am now a heavenly body,” Mr Takei said.

“I found out about it yesterday… I was blown away.

“It came out of the clear blue sky, just like an asteroid.”

Mr Takei is best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in the original Star Trek series, but he is currently undergoing a revival of popularity due to his appearance in the massively popular Heroes programme as Hiro Nakamura’s father.

Unsurprisingly, it is fairly common for astronomers to name asteroids after their favourite sci-fi writers and actors.

Mr Takei joins Michelle Nichols (who played Lt. Uhuru) and Gene Roddenberry, the show’s creator, in having an asteroid named after him.

Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein, two sci-fi luminaries, both also have their own main-belt asteroid.

The Takei asteroid is located between Mars and Jupiter.