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Nausikaa[3] (minor planet designation: 192 Nausikaa) is a large main-belt S-type asteroid. It was discovered by Johann Palisa on February 17, 1879, at Pula, then in Austria, now in Croatia. The name derives from Nausicaä, a princess in Homer's Odyssey.

192 Nausikaa
192Nausikaa (Lightcurve Inversion).png
A three-dimensional model of 192 Nausikaa based on its light curve.
Discovered byJ. Palisa, 1879
Discovery date17 February 1879
MPC designation(192) Nausikaa
Pronunciation/nɔːˈsɪk.ə/ naw-SIK-ay-ə
Named after
Main belt
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 31 July 2016 (JD 2457600.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc137.04 yr (50054 d)
Aphelion2.9934 AU (447.81 Gm)
Perihelion1.8121 AU (271.09 Gm)
2.4028 AU (359.45 Gm)
3.72 yr (1360.4 d)
0° 15m 52.632s / day
Earth MOID0.814558 AU (121.8561 Gm)
Jupiter MOID2.48275 AU (371.414 Gm)
Physical characteristics
Dimensions103.26±1.9 km[1]
90.18 ± 2.80 km[2]
Mass(1.79 ± 0.42) × 1018 kg[2]
Mean density
4.64 ± 1.17 g/cm3[2]
13.625 h (0.5677 d)

This is an S-type asteroid around 86 km with an elliptical ratio of 1.51. The sidereal rotation period is 13.6217 hours.[4]

Based on the lightcurve data obtained from Nausikaa, a possible satellite was reported in 1985. However, this has not been confirmed.[5] A shape model of Nausikaa has been constructed, also based on the lightcurve data. It indicates a roughly cut, but not very elongated body.[6] In 1998 an occultation of a star by the asteroid was observed from the United States.

In 1988 a search for satellites or dust orbiting this asteroid was performed using the UH88 telescope at the Mauna Kea Observatories, but the effort came up empty.[7]

Nausikaa's orbital period is 3.72 years, its distance from the Sun varying between 1.81 and 2.99 AU. The orbital eccentricity is 0.246. Nausikaa brightened to magnitude 8.3 at a quite favorable opposition on 2 September 2011, when it was 1.875 AU from the Sun and 0.866 AU from the Earth.


  1. ^ a b "192 Nausikaa". JPL Small-Body Database. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  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. ^ Stressed on the second syllable, /nɔːˈsɪk.ə/ naw-SIK-ay-ə.
  4. ^ Marchis, F.; et al. (November 2006), "Shape, size and multiplicity of main-belt asteroids. I. Keck Adaptive Optics survey", Icarus, 185 (1), pp. 39–63, Bibcode:2006Icar..185...39M, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2006.06.001, PMC 2600456, PMID 19081813.
  5. ^ Other reports of asteroid/TNO companions,, retrieved 2012-09-01
  6. ^ "New worlds in our solar system". Archived from the original on 2003-04-19. Retrieved 2003-04-19.
  7. ^ Gradie, J.; Flynn, L. (March 1988), "A Search for Satellites and Dust Belts Around Asteroids: Negative Results", Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 19, pp. 405–406, Bibcode:1988LPI....19..405G.

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