56 Melete

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56 Melete
Discovery
Discovered by Hermann Mayer Salomon Goldschmidt
Discovery date September 9, 1857
Designations
Named after
Melete
Minor planet category Main belt
Orbital characteristics
Epoch December 31, 2006 (JD 2454100.5)
Aphelion 480.683 Gm (3.213 AU)
Perihelion 295.717 Gm (1.977 AU)
388.200 Gm (2.595 AU)
Eccentricity 0.238
1526.839 d (4.18 a)
18.22 km/s
267.781°
Inclination 8.072°
193.478°
103.648°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 113.2 km[1]
Mass (4.61 ± 0.00) × 1018[2] kg
Mean density
6.00 ± 1.31[2] g/cm3
0.0316 m/s²
0.0598 km/s
18.1 hr[1]
Albedo 0.065[1][3]
Temperature ~173 K
Spectral type
P[1]
8.31[1]

56 Melete (/ˈmɛlɨt/ MEL-i-tee) is a large and dark main belt asteroid. It is a rather unusual P-type asteroid, probably composed of organic rich silicates, carbon and anhydrous silicates, with possible internal water ice.

Melete was discovered by Hermann Goldschmidt from his balcony in Paris, on September 9, 1857. It orbit was computed by E. Schubert, who named it after Melete, the Muse of meditation in Greek mythology.[4] It was originally confused for 41 Daphne before it was confirmed not to be by its second sighting on August 27, 1871.[5] In 1861, the brightness of 56 Melete was shown to vary by German astronomer Friedrich Tietjen.[6]

To date, two stellar occultations by Melete have been observed successfully (in 1997 and again in 2002).[citation needed]

Melete has been studied by radar.[7] Photometric observations of this asteroid at the Palmer Divide Observatory in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 2007 gave a light curve with a period of 18.151 ± 0.002 hours and a brightness variation of 0.15 ± 0.02 in magnitude. This result is in agreement with a period of 18.1 hours independently reported in 1993 and 2007.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 56 Melete" (2011-07-01 last obs). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  2. ^ a b Carry, B. (December 2012), "Density of asteroids", Planetary and Space Science 73: 98–118, arXiv:1203.4336, Bibcode:2012P&SS...73...98C, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2012.03.009.  See Table 1.
  3. ^ Asteroid Data Sets
  4. ^ Lutz D. Schmadel, Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, p.20.
  5. ^ Appletons' annual cyclopaedia and register of important events of the year: 1862. New York: D. Appleton & Company. 1863. p. 173. 
  6. ^ Harwood, Margaret (December 1924), "Variations in the Light of Asteroids", Harvard College Observatory Circular 269: 1–15, Bibcode:1924HarCi.269....1H. 
  7. ^ "Radar-Detected Asteroids and Comets". NASA/JPL Asteroid Radar Research. Retrieved 2012-01-23. 
  8. ^ Warner, Brian D. (December 2007), "Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at the Palmer Divide Observatory - March-May 2007", Bulletin of the Minor Planets Section of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers 34 (4): 104–107, Bibcode:2007MPBu...34..104W. 

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