Asteroid 37452 Spirit was discovered on September 24, 1960 by Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld, Cornelis Johannes van Houten, and Tom Gehrels. The asteroid was spotted by examining photographic plates of images taken by telescopes at the Palomar Observatory. 37452 Spirit is part of a small group of asteroids that make up the Hilda family, located between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroids share a 3:2 orbital resonance with Jupiter, meaning that for every 2 orbits Jupiter completes around the Sun, the asteroids will complete 3 orbits. It has a diameter of approximately 4–9 km (2.5–6 mi) and takes about 7.9 years to orbit the Sun. The asteroid's orbit does not cross the path of any of the planets and therefore will not be pulled out of orbit by Jupiter's gravitational field. As a result of this, it's likely that the asteroid will remain in a stable orbit for thousands of years.
On October 11, 2004, following a proposal by van Houten-Groeneveld in 2002 it was renamed in honour of the Mars Exploration Rover Spirit.
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