Discovery of the First Asteroid
On Jan. 1, 1801, Fr. Piazzi saw a bright object in his telescope. Unlike the stars, it was moving. Over the next few nights he saw that it moved faster than Mars but slower than Jupiter. He correctly concluded that it was located somewhere between the two planets. Naming it after the goddess of agriculture, he christened it Ceres. Ceres is the largest and only round asteroid. It is now classified a dwarf planet.
Correction: In issue 28 of the Focal Points newsletter, the weight of the Russian Meteor is 10,000 tons, not pounds.