Mallorca the Asteroid
Although the Mallorca Astronomical Observatory in Costitx has discovered hundreds of asteroids since 1995, this was the first one to be officially catalogued by the International Astronomical Union. It was also the first asteroid discovered by a Spanish astronomer since 1941.
Known as Asteroid 9453, its discoverers, Rafael Pacheo and Angel López, were given the honour of christening it and chose the name Mallorca. Its orbit lies in the Main Asteroid Belt, between Mars and Jupiter and, as it is at least 280,000,000 kilometres from Earth, light reflecting on its surface can only be seen with special cameras and the latest IT.
Between 2,000 and 4,000 million years old, it is 10 kilometres in diameter and completes a circular orbit every five years.
Since then, it has been joined by 9900 or Ramon Llull, (Raymond Lully in its anglicised form) in memory of the Mallorcan theologian and philosopher, by 20140 Costitx from 1996, and by 35725 Tramuntana from 1999, which took its name from the main Mallorcan mountain range and from the north wind in this area of the Mediterranean.