201 Penelope

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201 Penelope
201Penelope (Lightcurve Inversion).png
A three-dimensional model of 201 Penelope based on its light curve.
Discovered by Johann Palisa
Discovery date August 7, 1879
Named after
A869 GA
Main belt
Orbital characteristics
Epoch 30 January 2005 (JD 2453400.5)
Aphelion 473.219 Gm (3.163 AU)
Perihelion 329.047 Gm (2.2 AU)
401.133 Gm (2.681 AU)
Eccentricity 0.18
1603.743 d (4.39 a)
18.19 km/s
Inclination 5.761°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 87.72[1] km
3.74 h
Albedo 0.0881 ± 0.0187[1]
Spectral type
M[1] (Tholen)

201 Penelope is a large main belt asteroid that was discovered by Austrian astronomer Johann Palisa on August 7, 1879 in Pola. The asteroid is named after Penelope, the wife of Odysseus in Homer's The Odyssey.

Based upon the spectra of this object, it is classified as a M-type asteroid, indicating it may be metallic in composition.[1] It may be the remnant of the core of a larger, differentiated asteroid. Near infrared absorption features indicate the presence of variable amounts of low-iron, low-calcium orthopyroxenes on the surface. Trace amounts of water is detected with a mass fraction of about 0.13–0.15 wt%.[2] It has an estimated size of around 88 km.[1] With a rotation period of 3.74 hours, it is the fastest rotating asteroid larger than 50 km in diameter.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Pravec, P.; et al. (May 2012), "Absolute Magnitudes of Asteroids and a Revision of Asteroid Albedo Estimates from WISE Thermal Observations", Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2012, Proceedings of the conference held May 16–20, 2012 in Niigata, Japan (1667), Bibcode:2012LPICo1667.6089P.  See Table 4.
  2. ^ Hardersen, Paul S.; Gaffey, Michael J.; Abell, Paul A. (January 1983), "Near-IR spectral evidence for the presence of iron-poor orthopyroxenes on the surfaces of six M-type asteroids" (PDF), Icarus 175 (1): 141–158, Bibcode:2005Icar..175..141H, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2004.10.017, retrieved 2013-03-30. 
  3. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Search Engine: diameter > 50 (km) and rot_per > 0 (h)". JPL Solar System Dynamics. Retrieved 2015-05-22. 

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