|Discovered by||Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters|
|Discovery site||Litchfield Observatory|
|Discovery date||22 August 1868|
|Epoch 31 July 2016 (JD 2457600.5)|
|Uncertainty parameter 0|
|Observation arc||145.65 yr (53198 d)|
|Aphelion||3.33419 AU (498.788 Gm)|
|Perihelion||1.98782 AU (297.374 Gm)|
|2.66101 AU (398.081 Gm)|
|4.34 yr (1585.5 d)|
|0° 13m 37.405s / day|
|Earth MOID||0.98566 AU (147.453 Gm)|
|Jupiter MOID||2.13185 AU (318.920 Gm)|
|23.613 h (0.9839 d)|
|P (Tholen classification) |
C (SMASSII classification)
Peters named the asteroid after Miriam, the sister of Moses in the Old Testament. This caused some controversy, because at the time, asteroids were expected to be named after mythological figures, and the devout would not regard Biblical figures as such. According to fellow astronomer Edward S. Holden, Peters deliberately chose a name from the Bible so as to annoy an overly pious theology professor of his acquaintance.
Initially classified as a D-type asteroid, it was later classed as C-type based upon a broad absorption feature below 4,000 Å, most likely due to phyllosilicates on the surface. An occultation of the star HIP 37136 by 102 Miriam on February 15, 2000 was observed from multiple stations, with the chords yielding an estimated elliptical cross-section of 96 × 62 km.
Photometric observations of this asteroid during 2007 at the Organ Mesa Observatory in Las Cruces, New Mexico, were used to create a light curve plot. This showed a rotation period of 23.613 ± 0.001 hours and a brightness variation of 0.12 ± 0.02 magnitude. The curve shows three maxima and minima during each cycle. This value for the period differs from the 15.789 hour estimate produced in a 2008 study.
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