808 Merxia

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808 Merxia
808Merxia (Lightcurve Inversion).png
A three-dimensional model of 808 Merxia based on its light curve.
Discovered by Luigi Carnera
Discovery site Heidelberg
Discovery date October 11, 1901
1901 GY
main belt, merxia family
Orbital characteristics
Epoch August 18, 2005 (JDCT 2453600.5)
Aphelion 3.102 AU
Perihelion 2.386 AU
2.744 AU
Eccentricity 0.130
4.545 a
Inclination 4.718°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 32km[1]
30.6 h[1]
Albedo 0.22[1]
Spectral type
S-type asteroid[1]

808 Merxia is a minor planet orbiting the Sun. It forms the namesake for the Merxia family of asteroids that share common orbital elements and physical properties.

The spectrum of this object indicates that it is an S-type asteroid with both low and high calcium forms of pyroxene on the surface, along with less than 20% olivine. The high-calcium form of pyroxene forms 40% or more of the total pyroxene present, indicating a history of igneous rock deposits. This suggests that the asteroid underwent differentiation by melting, creating a surface of basalt rock.[2]

808 Merxia is the namesake of the Merxia family of asteroids that share similar orbital elements and physical properties. The members of this family, including 808 Merxia, most likely formed from the breakup of a basalt object, which in turn was spawned from a larger parent body that had previously undergone igneous differentiation. Other members of this family include 1662 Hoffmann, 2042 Sitarski, 2504 Gaviola, and 3363 Bowen.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 808 Merxia". Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 
  2. ^ a b Sunshine, Jessica M.; et al. (August 2004), "High-calcium pyroxene as an indicator of igneous differentiation in asteroids and meteorites", Meteoritics & Planetary Science 39 (8), pp. 1343–1357, Bibcode:2004M&PS...39.1343S, doi:10.1111/j.1945-5100.2004.tb00950.x. 

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