An ardent Hiroshima Carp fan has named an asteroid he discovered four years ago somewhere between Mars and Jupiter after his favorite baseball team.

Akimasa Nakamura, 42, a longtime Carp fan who works at the Kuma Kogen Astronomical Observatory in Ehime, discovered the asteroid, 44711, on Oct. 3, 1999.

Nakamura’s application for naming the celestial body after the Carp has been accepted by the Committee on Small Body Nomenclature of the Paris-based International Astronomical Union.

Carp is the 53rd asteroid Nakamura has discovered. Some of his earlier discoveries were named after cartoon characters, including Anpanman and Kamenrider.

Nakamura said he has always wanted to name an asteroid after the Carp.

“This is my way of expressing support for the team,” Nakamura said, citing the team’s poor performance this season.

Typically measuring less than 5 km in radius, asteroids orbit around the sun and are mainly found between Mars and Jupiter.

Scientists so far have confirmed the existence of about 6,000 asteroids.

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