Asteroid named after Holocaust survivor Liliana Segre
A very special asteroid has been named after Liliana Segre (born 1930), an Italian Holocaust survivor, Senator for life since 2018.
The object is the minor body 75190, which holds the same concentration camp number that she was assigned in Auschwitz and that is tattooed on her forearm. “75190 Segreliliana” is a main belt asteroid with a 1498 m diameter, a 3,74 year revolution period and a 15,8 absolute magnitude.
As she tells in her autobiography (“Fino a quando la mia stella brillerà”), to escape from reality she used to look up at the sky and talk to the same tiny star that she could see from the camp. This was the inspiration for the proposal submitted to the International Astronomical Union. This initiative was launched by the Trieste observatory of INAF.
In a letter written by Liliana Segre on this occasion, she expresses her wish that “translating my name and the number to which each of us in Auschwitz was reduced into a celestial body can help to remind us that without information, knowledge, awareness and responsibility, what happened once could happen again ”.