New Mexico University
honors UH researcher

Klaus Keil has already
had a minor planet and an
extraterrestrial mineral
named for him

Klaus Keil, University of Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology director, was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Science from the University of New Mexico this month.

Keil was a professor and later Department of Geology chairman and director of the Institute of Meteoritics at that university for 22 years before joining UH-Manoa in 1990.

University of Hawaii "He played a key role in elevating UNM's Institute of Meteoritics to a national and even international stature. He has been called by a current university leader 'one of the half-dozen most distinguished scholars ever to reside at UNM,'" said Stephen Preskill, a member of the University of New Mexico's honorary-degree committee.

This is the second significant honor in recent months for Keil, who became director of the Hawaii Institute of Geophysics and Planetology in 1995.

The Commission on New Minerals and Mineral Names of the International Mineralogical Association approved the name "keilite" for a mineral discovered in extraterrestrial pieces of asteroids.

Also bearing his name is Asteroid 5054, a minor planet orbiting the sun, called Asteroid Keil by the International Astronomical Union in 1993.

Keil's research spans meteoritics, cosmochemistry, planetary science and the evolution of asteroids. His work is aimed at trying to understand the processes and origin of solid materials in the solar nebula early in the solar system's history.


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