The name Żywiec, referring to the city located in southern Poland, will now live on also in space, as a new name of the asteroid No. 551231, which was discovered by Michał Kusiak, the city resident, and Michał Żołnowski from Kraków.
“The area of Żywiec has increased by about 5 square kilometres. It is not about a piece of land, but a piece of ... space! Thanks to the explorers - Michał Kusiak, who lives in Żywiec, and Michał Żołnowski, who comes from Kraków, they managed to discover the asteroid No. 551231, which was named Żywiec,” the city mayor Antoni Szlagor announced.
The local government reported that the idea of naming the asteroid was born in 2018, on the occasion of the 750th anniversary of the city of Żywiec.
The asteroid is about 1.3 km in diameter and takes 3.6 years to revolve around the sun. It is located between Mars and Jupiter.
Mayor Szlagor stated that so far, only 22,000 out of 550,000 numbered asteroids have been named. In Poland, only a few cities can brag about their “own” celestial body.