(72) Feronia

72 Feronia
72Feronia (Lightcurve Inversion).png
A three-dimensional model of 72 Feronia based on its light curve.
Discovered byChristian Heinrich Friedrich Peters
Discovery dateMay 29, 1861
(72) Feronia
Named after
Main belt
Orbital characteristics
Epoch December 31, 2006 (JD 2454100.5)
Aphelion2.539 AU (379.8 Gm)
Perihelion1.993 AU (298.1 Gm)
2.266 AU (339.0 Gm)
1,246.123 days (3.41 a)
Physical characteristics
Dimensions83.95±4.02 km[2]
Mass(3.32±8.49)×1018 kg[2]
Mean density
10.71±27.44 g/cm3[2]
8.09068 h[3]
287 or 102[3]
−39 or −55[3]

72 Feronia (minor planet designation: 72 Feronia) is a quite large and dark main belt asteroid. It was the first asteroid discovery by C. H. F. Peters, on May 29, 1861,[6] from Hamilton College, New York State. It was initially thought that Peters had merely seen the already known asteroid 66 Maja, but T.H. Safford showed that it was a new body. Safford named it after Feronia, a Roman fertility goddess.[7]

This asteroid is orbiting the Sun with a period of 3.41 years, having a semimajor axis of 2.266 AU and an eccentricity of 0.121. The orbital plane is inclined by an angle of 5.4° to the plane of the ecliptic. This is a spectral type TDG asteroid with a cross-section size of 84 km. The asteroid has an estimated rotation period of 8.09 h. Hanuš et al. (2013) gives two possible solutions for the pole in ecliptic coordinates: (λ1, β1) = (287°, −39°) or (λ1, β1) = (102°, −55°). The estimated mass of 72 Feronia, and hence the density, has a large margin of error.[3]


  1. ^ Noah Webster (1884) A Practical Dictionary of the English Language
  2. ^ a b c Carry, B. (December 2012), "Density of asteroids", Planetary and Space Science, 73, pp. 98–118, arXiv:1203.4336, Bibcode:2012P&SS...73...98C, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2012.03.009. See Table 1.
  3. ^ a b c d Hanuš, J.; et al. (September 2013), "Sizes of main-belt asteroids by combining shape models and Keck adaptive optics observations", Icarus, 226 (1): 1045−1057, arXiv:1308.0446, Bibcode:2013Icar..226.1045H, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.07.023.
  4. ^ Asteroid Data Sets Archived 2010-01-17 at WebCite
  5. ^ *JPL Small-Body Database Browser
  6. ^ Sheehan, William (1999), "Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters", Biographical Memoirs, 76, National Academies Press, p. 289, ISBN 0309064341.
  7. ^ Schmadel, Lutz (2003). Dictionary of minor planet names (fifth ed.). Germany: Springer. p. 22. ISBN 3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 31 December 2008.

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