19 December 2010

Two Asteroids Named in Honour of CUHK Motto and Vice-Chancellor
Over 4,000 Alumni Witnessed the Birth of Asteroids Bowenyueli and Sungjaoyiu



The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) announced today during its ‘CUHK Alumni Homecoming 2010’ that two asteroids—the ‘88878 Bowenyueli’ and the ‘88879 Sungjaoyiu’—have been named after its motto and Vice-Chancellor Professor Joseph Sung, respectively. Over 4,000 alumni witnessed the birth of asteroids Bowenyueli and Sungjaoyiu on this joyful occasion. A total of five asteroids have been inspired by members of CUHK, respectively former Vice-Chancellor and Nobel Laureate in Physics Prof. Charles K. Kao, Distinguished Professor-at-Large and another Nobel Laureate in Physics, Prof. Yang Chen-ning, and Distinguished Professor-at-Large and Fields Medalist Prof. Yau Shing-tung.

Both asteroids were discovered by Mr. Bill Yeung, a world-renowned amateur astronomer and President of the Hong Kong Astronomical Society, and named by him in appreciation of CUHK’s education ideal of laying equal emphasis on the intellectual and the moral aspects, as well as Professor Sung’s significant achievements. ‘Bo wen yue li’  is the University’s motto, which means ‘Through learning and temperance to virtue’. These words of Confucius have long been considered to evince a principal precept of his teaching and are recorded in the Analects of Confucius, in which the Master says, 'The superior man, extensively studying all learning, and keeping himself under the restraint of the rules of propriety, may thus likewise not overstep what is right. 'Mr. Yeung also has great respect for Professor Sung, who played a significant role in combating theSARS epidemic for which he was named Asian Hero by the Time magazine.

Mr. Yeung remarked, ‘Many people may regard it an honour to have an asteroid named after themselves. On the contrary, I believe the planets, if they were sentient beings,should take pride in their bearing the namesakes of the greats. Over the decades, CUHK has nurtured over 100,000 graduates who have made remarkable achievements in the political, business and academic sectors as well as great contributions to society. I am also deeply impressed by Professor Sung’s educational idealand hope the Asteroid ‘88878 Bowenyueli’ will inspire and encourage the University’s students to excel in both their moral and intellectual pursuits, to love their home country and serve the community, thus carrying on CUHK’s acclaimed tradition.’

Professor Sung was grateful to Mr. Yeung’s affection for CUHK. ‘The University and I are grateful to be bestowed such honour by Mr. Yeung. This is a testimonial not only to my personal accomplishments, but also to CUHK's holistic ideal of moral and intellectual excellence. It is particularly meaningful to share this honour and joyous moment with all CUHK members across generations on today’s ‘Alumni Homecoming’,’ said Professor Sung.

Mr. Yeung discovered the ‘88878 Bowenyueli’ and the ‘88879 Sungjaoyiu’ on 25 September 2001 at the Desert Eagle Observatory in the United States. Both asteroidsare situated at the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter. ‘88878 Bowenyueli’ has a diameter of about 3km, with an area that can accommodate 36 CUHK campuses and an orbital period of 4.44 years; the ‘88879 Sungjaoyiu’ is smaller with a diameter of over 2 km and an orbital period of 4.12 years.

The naming of asteroidsis judged by the Working Group for Small Body Nomenclature of the International Astronomical Union, comprised of professional astronomers from around the world. The discoverer of a particular asteroid has the privilege of suggesting a name to the Working Group that judges its suitability. Accepted names become official when they are published and will be recognized worldwide.

The annual CUHK Alumni Homecoming welcomes alumni of all ages to witness the latest development of the University and to reunite with their fellow classmates. This year, over 4,000 participants returned to the campus on this special occasion to take part in various programmes contributed by alumni and friends of the University.

Professor Joseph Sung gives an address at the opening ceremony of CUHK Alumni Homecoming
Professor Joseph Sung gives an address at the opening ceremony of CUHK Alumni Homecoming

88878 Bowenyueli
88878 Bowenyueli

The fun-filled event has attracted over 4,000 participants
The fun-filled event has attracted over 4,000 participants




Mr. Bill Yeung introduces the features of asteroids Bowenyueli and Sungjaoyiu
Mr. Bill Yeung introduces the features of asteroids Bowenyueli and Sungjaoyiu

CUHK Vice-Chancellor Professor Joseph Sung presents a souvenir to Mr. Bill Yeung, President of the Hong Kong Astronomical Society, in appreciation of his generous donation of two asteroids to CUHK and Professor Sung himself
CUHK Vice-Chancellor Professor Joseph Sung presents a souvenir to Mr. Bill Yeung, President of the Hong Kong Astronomical Society, in appreciation of his generous donation of two asteroids to CUHK and Professor Sung himself

CUHK is delighted with the naming of asteroid Bowenyueli
CUHK is delighted with the naming of asteroid Bowenyueli


Professor Joseph Sung and other guests officiate at the opening ceremony
Professor Joseph Sung and other guests officiate at the opening ceremony

88879 Sungjaoyiu
88879 Sungjaoyiu