259 Aletheia

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259 Aletheia Astrological symbol
Discovery [1]
Discovered byC. H. F. Peters
Discovery siteLitchfield Obs., Clinton
Discovery date28 June 1886
(259) Aletheia
Named after
A886 MA, 1947 LD
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 27 June 2015 (JD 2457200.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc117.00 yr (42,736 days) 
Aphelion3.5353 AU
Perihelion2.7347 AU
3.1350 AU
5.55 yr (2027.5 days)
Earth MOID1.7207 AU
Physical characteristics
Dimensions174.32±1.05 km[4]
190.05±6.82 km[5]
Mass(7.79±0.43)×1018 kg[5]
Mean density
2.16 ± 0.26[5] g/cm3
8.143 h
B–V = 0.698
U–B = 0.311
CP (Tholen), X (SMASS)

Aletheia (minor planet designation: 259 Aletheia) is a very large main-belt asteroid that was discovered by German–American astronomer Christian Peters on June 28, 1886, at Litchfield Observatory, Clinton, New York. The dark and heterogeneously composed X-type (Tholen: CP-type) asteroid contains primitive carbonaceous materials, responsible for its low albedo of 0.04. Aletheia measures about 185 kilometers in diameter and belongs to the largest asteroids of the main-belt. It has a semi-major axis of 3.1 AU and an orbit inclined by 11 degrees with a period of 5.55 years.[1]

Richard P. Binzel and Schelte Bus further added to the knowledge about this asteroid in a lightwave survey published in 2003. This project was known as Small Main-belt Asteroid Spectroscopic Survey, Phase II or SMASSII, which built on a previous survey of the main-belt asteroids. The visible-wavelength (0.435-0.925 micrometre) spectra data was gathered between August 1993 and March 1999.[6][7]

Lightcurve data has also been recorded by observers at the Antelope Hill Observatory, which has been designated as an official observatory by the Minor Planet Center.[8]

It is named after the Greek goddess of truth, Aletheia, the daughter of Zeus and one of the nurses of Apollo.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 259 Aletheia" (2015-09-15 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 14 October 2015.
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (259) Aletheia. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 38. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_260. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7.
  3. ^ 'Alethia' in Noah Webster (1884) A Practical Dictionary of the English Language, with -eia pronounced as in 'Hygeia', 'apatheia', etc.
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ a b c Carry, B. (December 2012), "Density of asteroids", Planetary and Space Science, 73 (1): 98–118, arXiv:1203.4336, Bibcode:2012P&SS...73...98C, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2012.03.009. See Table 1.
  6. ^ Bus, S., Binzel, R. P. Small Main-belt Asteroid Spectroscopic Survey, Phase II. EAR-A-I0028-4-SBN0001/SMASSII-V1.0. NASA Planetary Data System, 2003.
  7. ^ JPL Small-Body Database Browser
  8. ^ Lightcurve Results

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