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Philomela (minor planet designation: 196 Philomela) is a large and bright main-belt asteroid. It is an S-type asteroid.[citation needed]

196 Philomela
196Philomela (Lightcurve Inversion).png
A three-dimensional model of 196 Philomela based on its light curve.
Discovered byC. H. F. Peters, 1879
Discovery date14 May 1879
MPC designation(196) Philomela
Main belt
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 31 July 2016 (JD 2457600.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc136.91 yr (50005 d)
Aphelion3.1723 AU (474.57 Gm)
Perihelion3.0630 AU (458.22 Gm)
3.1177 AU (466.40 Gm)
5.50 yr (2010.7 d)
0° 10m 44.544s / day
Earth MOID2.04771 AU (306.333 Gm)
Jupiter MOID1.83421 AU (274.394 Gm)
Physical characteristics
Dimensions136.39±6.3 km[1]
145.29 ± 7.71 km[2]
Mass(4.00 ± 1.53) × 1018 kg[2]
Mean density
2.48 ± 1.02 g/cm3[2]
8.3340 h (0.34725 d)[1]
8.332827 hours[3]

It was discovered by C. H. F. Peters on May 14, 1879, in Clinton, New York and named after Philomela, the woman who became a nightingale in Greek mythology.[4]

In the late 1990s, a network of astronomers worldwide gathered light curve data that was ultimately used to derive the spin states and shape models of 10 new asteroids, including 196 Philomela. The shape model for this asteroid is described as asymmetrical and smooth, while the light curve varies by up to 0.4 in magnitude.[3][5]

To date there have been two reported Philomelian stellar occultations.[citation needed]


  1. ^ a b c "196 Philomela". 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. ^ a b Durech, J.; et al. (April 2007), "Physical models of ten asteroids from an observers' collaboration network", Astronomy and Astrophysics, 465 (1), pp. 331–337, Bibcode:2007A&A...465..331D, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20066347.
  4. ^ Schmadel Lutz D. Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (fifth edition), Springer, 2003. ISBN 3-540-00238-3.
  5. ^ Durech, J.; Kaasalainen, M.; Marciniak, A.; Allen, W. H. et al. "Asteroid brightness and geometry," Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 465, Issue 1, April I 2007, pp. 331-337.

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