The asteroid named after San Jose, CA

Learn about the minor planet that pays homage to San Jose, CA.


San Jose’s Lick Observatory keeps watch over many celestial objects.

Photo via @crhphotog

In a galaxy not so far, far away... 🌌

We previously shared a little geography lesson on places around the world that share the name “San Jose.” But, this one was so out-of-this-world, we felt that it deserved its own entry. ⭐


It’s like looking in a mirror.

Photo via Lick Observatory, UCSC

Meet 6216 San Jose — an asteroid that doesn’t just share our name, but is actually named after our city.

It was discovered on Sept. 30, 1975 by astronomer Schelte J. Bus at the Palomar Observatory in San Diego. It was named to recognize San Jose’s innovation + nearby Lick Observatory.

Some quick stats on this space rock:

  • The number is a reference to its discovery — it was the 6,216th asteroid found. 🔭
  • It is 10-15 miles across, around the same size as our city.
  • It is located in the main asteroid belt between Mars + Jupiter. 🪐
  • It takes roughly 4 years + 7 months to orbit around the Sun — talk about a commute.

Feeling a little star-struck? Satisfy your curiosity for the cosmos at the stellar Lick Observatorypublic talks + night tours are available.

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