The “132005 Scottmcgregor” is not a large asteroid (it clocks in at about 2 to5 km in diameter), but it is big enough to cause similar damage as the one that is theorized to have killed off the dinosaurs about 65.5 million years ago.
Discovered by MIT Lincoln Laboratory’s Near-Earth Asteroid Research program (LINEAR), former Broadcom Chief Executive Officer and President, Scott McGregor, landed naming rights to the 132005 asteroid, a rocky space body that orbits the sun.
McGregor was honored with a celestial namesake by the Broadcom Foundation, Society for Science and the Public (SSP) and the CERES Connection to recognize his role in creating the Broadcom MASTERS science and engineering competition for middle school students, a program that marked its sixth anniversary last October.
The auspicious number of the asteroid assigned to McGregor coincides with the day he became President and CEO of Broadcom –132005 – January 3, 2005.
The official asteroid nomenclature states:
“Scott A. McGregor (b.1956), Broadcom CEO and Founding Chair of the Broadcom Foundation, championed the Broadcom MASTERS, a program of Society for Science & the Public that inspires young men and women in middle schools throughout the world to meet the Grand Challenges as our future scientists, engineers and innovators.”
McGregor continues his contributions to the Broadcom MASTERS and expands to other science competitions by joining the SSP board of trustees last year.
“It is an honor, and I’m grateful for the recognition,” McGregor said. “It is an unusual honor to be sure!”
McGregor joins a star-studded roster of astronauts, innovators, STEM luminaries and rock stars who have minor planets named after them including many familiar figures such as Thomas Edison, Christopher Columbus, the Beatles, and Elvis, to name a few. He also joins the last six years of Broadcom MASTERS finalists and other finalists of SSP competitions.
McGregor said he admires another science figure who also has an asteroid named after him – Martin Gardner, the author of a “Scientific American” column about Mathematical Games that inspired him as a middle school student to study STEM. Eagerly anticipating each month’s edition, McGregor learned that math can really be fun and has applications across virtually everything.
“Gardner introduced me to tetraflexagons, math puzzles, the art of M.C. Escher and John Horton Conway’s cellular automata game of Life,” McGregor said. “One of my very first computer programs was to automate Conway’s Life game which played a significant role in my taking an interest in computers.”
Martin died a few years ago, but McGregor believes that he inspired many people in his generation.
“Now it is the job of programs like Broadcom MASTERS to inspire kids that STEM is fun and hopefully instill an enduring passion for STEM in life,” said McGregor.
“Scott’s passion for science began at an early age and has defined many of his professional, personal and philanthropic endeavors,” said Paula Golden. “He is a wonderful role model for young people everywhere, and we at the Foundation are thrilled he has been given this special honor.”
Asteroids are a personal passion for McGregor since he first looked through a telescope in middle school. Now, McGregor and his wife Laurie are supporters of the B612 Foundation that is dedicated to detecting and mitigating possible asteroid strikes on our planet so we don’t suffer the same fate as the dinosaurs.
McGregor can now sign his name with his asteroid number in parentheses: Scott McGregor (132005)
And McGregor and the B612 Foundation will make sure that Asteroid 132005 Scott McGregor stays in its orbit, along with the ~393,298 other minor planets.