(93) Minerva

93 Minerva
93Minerva (Lightcurve Inversion).png
A three-dimensional model of 93 Minerva based on its light curve.
Discovered byJames Craig Watson
Discovery siteAnn Arbor, Michigan
Discovery date24 August 1867
(93) Minerva
Named after
1949 QN2, A902 DA
Main belt
AdjectivesMinervian, Minervean /mɪˈnɜːrviən/
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 31 July 2016 (JD 2457600.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc146.14 yr (53379 d)
Aphelion3.1429 AU (470.17 Gm)
Perihelion2.3711 AU (354.71 Gm)
2.7570 AU (412.44 Gm)
4.58 yr (1672.0 d)
~17.86 km/s
0° 12m 55.116s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions141.55±4.0 km (IRAS)[2]
156km (spherical)[3]
Mass3.7×1018 kg (assumed)[4]
Mean density
1.9 g/cm³[3]
Equatorial surface gravity
4.139 cm/s2 (0.004221 g)[5]
Equatorial escape velocity
8.035 cm/s[5]
5.982 h (0.2493 d)[2]

Minerva (minor planet designation: 93 Minerva) is a large trinary main-belt asteroid. It is a C-type asteroid, meaning that it has a dark surface and possibly a primitive carbonaceous composition. It was discovered by J. C. Watson on 24 August 1867, and named after Minerva, the Roman equivalent of Athena, goddess of wisdom. An occultation of a star by Minerva was observed in France, Spain and the United States on 22 November 1982. An occultation diameter of ~170 km was measured from the observations. Since then two more occultations have been observed, which give an estimated mean diameter of ~150 km for diameter.[6][7]


On 16 August 2009, at 13:36 UT, the Keck Observatory's adaptive optics system revealed that the asteroid 93 Minerva possesses 2 small moons.[8] They are 4 and 3 km in diameter and the projected separations from Minerva correspond to 630 km (8.8 x Rprimary) and 380 km (5.2 x Rprimary) respectively.[8] They have been named[citation needed] Aegis (/ˈɪs/)[9] and Gorgoneion (/ˌɡɔːrɡəˈnən/).[10]


  1. ^ Noah Webster (1884) A Practical Dictionary of the English Language
  2. ^ a b c d e f "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 93 Minerva" (2011-12-29 last obs). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 13 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Franck Marchis (7 October 2011). "Is the triple Asteroid Minerva a baby-Ceres?". NASA blog (Cosmic Diary). Retrieved 28 January 2012.
  4. ^ Using a spherical radius of 78 km; volume of a sphere * density of 1.9 g/cm³ yields a mass (m=d*v) of 3.77E+18 kg
  5. ^ a b "HEC:Exoplanets Calculator/Planet Density, Surface Gravity, and Escape Velocity". Planetary Habitability Laboratory. University of Puerto Rico at Arecibo. Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  6. ^ Millis, R.L; Wasserman, L.H; Bowell, E; Franz, O.G; Nye, R; Osborn, W; Klemola, A (1985), "The occultation of AG+29°398 by 93 Minerva", Icarus, 61 (1): 124–131, Bibcode:1985Icar...61..124M, doi:10.1016/0019-1035(85)90159-9, hdl:2060/19840022996
  7. ^ "Observed minor planet occultation events". astro.cz. 26 July 2005. Retrieved 3 September 2020.
  8. ^ a b Franck Marchis (21 August 2009). "The discovery of a new triple asteroid, (93) Minerva". Cosmic Diary Blog. Retrieved 25 October 2009.
  9. ^ "aegis". Lexico UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press.
  10. ^ "gorgoneion". Lexico UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press.

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