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8609 Shuvalov (1977 QH3) is a main-belt asteroid discovered on
August 22, 1977 by N. S. Chernykh at the Crimean Astrophysical
Observatory. Asteroids (from Greek 'star' and 'like, in form') are
a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They
have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones. These
terms have historically been applied to any astronomical object
orbiting the Sun that did not show the disk of a planet and was not
observed to have the characteristics of an active comet, but as
small objects in the outer Solar System were discovered, their
volatile-based surfaces were found to more closely resemble comets,
and so were often distinguished from traditional asteroids.
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