Named in honor of Li Yuan (b. 1925), popularizer of astronomy in the People's Republic of China. He played an important role in the opening of Beijing Planetarium in 1957 and served as a leader of planetarium activities in China. He has published more than 50 books on science, including astronomy, and has frequently contributed to domestic and foreign publications. Name proposed by the discoverers following a suggestion by A. Fujii, H. Tomioka and Y. Shiono.