Jeremy Lin is a NBA basketball star playing for the Los Angeles Lakers. Recently, he also became a twinkling object in the solar system, according to the International Astronomical Union. 

It was reported recently that a minor planet has been named 'Linshuhow'. The citation is as follows:

(316020)  Linshuhow = 2009 FV29    Discovered 2009 Mar. 21 by Y.-S. Tsai and T. Chen at Ju1in. After playing basketball at Harvard University, Jeremy Shu-How Lin (b. 1988) began a professional career in the NBA.

A minor planet is a small astronomical object such as an asteroid that is orbiting around the sun, but it is neither a planet nor a comet. The person who discovers a minor planet gets to name the planet except with his or her own name. Usually the names have been famous people or the discoverer's family member. (Pet names were used at one time but the practice has been banned.)

Amateur astronomers Yuan-Shen Tsai of Taiwan and Chen Tao of China discovered minor planet #316020 in 2009. Because Mr. Tsai is a fan of Jeremy Lin, their request was recently approved to name the minor planet using Jeremy's Chinese name, Lin Shu-How. Although hundreds of thousands of minor planets have been discovered, only more than 10,000 of them have been approved to be named.

By the way, 'Shu-How' means 'outstanding in academics.' Chinese parents often express their wish for a child's future with a name that carries a symbolic meaning, although it could be a weighty burden if you ask the Chinese kids. Jeremy Lin certainly has become an outstanding star in the basketball court, and his namesake will continue to orbit the sun. His parents should be pleased.

(photo: Jeremy Lin)