Asteroid named in honor of Enriqueta Basilio, first woman to light an Olympic cauldron


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Asteroid named in honor of Enriqueta Basilio, first woman to light an Olympic cauldron

Two years after her death, the General Assembly of the Astronomical Union honored the Mexican Olympic athlete

The General Assembly of the International Astronomical Union (IAU) named an asteroid, Trojan type, Enriqueta ‘Queta’ Basilio, in honor of the Mexican athlete, who was the first woman to light the Olympic cauldron, at the 1968 Mexico Games.

Two years after his death, ‘Queta’ Basilio, was immortalized with the appointment of the stellar body, in recognition of his contribution to equality between men and women, as well as its role in the history of sport.

In the early hours of last October 16, NASA’s “Lucy” mission took off from the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station, Florida, to carry out a 12-year mission in which it will reconnoitre eight Trojan Jupiter asteroids.

It should be noted that one of the functions of the IAU is to approve the names of asteroids. Originally, Trojan Asteroids were classified according to characters from the Iliad, but due to their large number, it was determined to name them according to “modern heroes.”, that is, Olympic and Paralympic athletes.

From this new agreement arose the proposal to name the new Trojan Asteroid “Queta”, located in the orbit of the asteroid “Eurybates”, a herald of ancient Greece. The heralds were messengers of kings or governments who sometimes ran great distances, but they also had the task of announcing the start of the Olympic Games, an action similar to that which occurs in the modern joust when the cauldron is lit with the torch that travels from Greece. .

This is how the scientists decided to honor the Mexican athlete who marked the history of sport for being the first woman to perform the same action as said mythical hero. After 53 years later, Queta Basilio made history again by inspiring scientists to name an asteroid in his honor and that of young women who serves as a model for his generation to achieve gender equality.


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