The International Astronomical Union has named an asteroid in orbit between Mars and Jupiter after Rolf Hempel. It was discovered in the early 1970s, has a diameter of six kilometres and was previously known by the sober name '3064 T-1'.
Hempel's son has immortalised the celestial body in a drawing which hangs on his office wall. The planets are painted in vibrant gold against the blackness of space. 'Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars' is written in a child's handwriting, along with 'Hempel'. The nine-year-old has positioned it precisely in his drawing; the asteroid lies between Mars and Jupiter. "It's not a giant, but anyway," says Hempel.