Astronomical observer Lin Qi-sheng (林啟生) of National Central University’s Lulin Observatory (國立中央大學鹿林天文台) and a student named Ye Quan-chi (葉泉志) discovered a new asteroid in 2008, which is now permanently numbered 300892 after several years of tracking confirmation. Lin Qi-sheng, who has lived in Taichung for a long time, has decided to name the asteroid "Taichung" in tribute to Taichung City. Mayor Lin Jia-long thanked master Lin for giving Taichung a place in the star world and promised to promote astronomy education among residents.
To pay respect to Lin Qi-sheng and Ye Quan-chi, Taichung City Government and Taichung City Astronomical Society held a press conference on July 28 to formally introduce Asteroid Taichung. Guests attending the press conference included Mayor Lin, Director-general of Information Bureau Cho Kuan-ting (卓冠廷), Taichung City Astronomical Society president Lu Qi-run (呂其潤) and Lin Qi-sheng.
"When you see Taichung, you see hope," Mayor Lin said. “A star may look small in the sky, but every star is important. It is never easy to find a new star in the vast universe. Thank master Lin for finding and naming the new asteroid after Taichung. Now Taichung is one of the starts in the universe.
“We will try our best to reflect this glory to our astronomy education, and we will work together with the Astronomical Society to encourage people to explore the astronomic mysteries. Before the end of November this year, Asteroid Taichung will appear in the direction of Sagittarius in the southern sky at around 18:40 every night after the sunset. Everyone is welcome to watch it with a powerful telescope.”
Lin Qi-sheng said, “I have lived in Taichung for more than 30 years. It is this special bond with Taichung that I have decided to name the asteroid after Taichung. This asteroid was officially recognized by the International Astronomical Union's Committee on Small Body Nomenclature (IAU CSBN) in early 2012. I hope to share the glory with Taichung residents.”
Then, Lin Qi-sheng and Lu Qi-run conferred the naming certificate and a model of Asteroid 300892 Taichung to the Taichung City Government. Mayor Lin received them on behalf of Taichung residents.
Information Bureau of Taichung City Government points out that Asteroid Taichung was discovered by Lin Qi-sheng and Ye Quan-chi (a student of Zhongshan University in Guangzhou, China at the time) on January 28, 2008, when they worked together on the "Lulin Sky Survey Project" (鹿林巡天計畫). The asteroid was first granted the temporary number of 2008 BT15 and is now officially numbered as 300892 after several years of tracking confirmation.
Asteroid Taichungis located between Mars and Jupiter. It measures 4 kilometers in diameter. Its brightness is at visual magnitude 21, so low in brightness that we can only observe it by the powerful 1-meter telescope together with a camera at the Lulin Observatory.
Some asteroids have been named after counties and cities in Taiwan, including Taipei, Kaohsiung, Tainan, Taoyuan, Chiayi, Nantou and Miaoli. Asteroid Taichung is the one that has most recently given Taichung the honor to join the ranks.