Pompeja (minor planet designation: 203 Pompeja) is a quite large main-belt asteroid. It was discovered by C. H. F. Peters on September 25, 1879, in Clinton, New York, and named after Pompeii, the Roman town destroyed in volcanic eruption in AD 79. This asteroid is orbiting the Sun at a distance of 2.74 AU with an eccentricity (ovalness) of 0.06 and a period of 4.53 yr. The orbital plane is tilted at an angle of 3.2° to the plane of the ecliptic.[2]

203 Pompeja
Discovered byC. H. F. Peters
Discovery date25 September 1879
(203) Pompeja
Named after
A879 SA, 1895 EA
Main belt
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 31 July 2016 (JD 2457600.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc136.43 yr (49,832 d)
Aphelion2.897 AU (433.4 Gm)
Perihelion2.577 AU (385.5 Gm)
2.737 AU (409.4 Gm)
4.53 yr (1,653.6 d)
18.01 km/s
0° 13m 3.72s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions116.25±2.5 km
24.052 h (1.0022 d)[3][2]

Based upon photometric observations taken during 2011, it has a synodic rotation period of 24.052 ± 0.001 h, with a peak-to-peak amplitude of 0.10 ± 0.01 in magnitude. Because the rotation period nearly matches that of the Earth, it required coordinated observations from multiple observatories at widely spaced latitudes to produce a complete light curve.[3] As discovered in 2021, the asteroid has a very red color due to tholins on its surface, similar to trans-Neptunian objects. It is therefore thought to have formed in the outer Solar System despite its current orbit within the asteroid belt.[4]


  1. ^ 'Pompeia' in Noah Webster (1884) A Practical Dictionary of the English Language
  2. ^ a b c "203 Pompeja". JPL Small-Body Database. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b Pilcher, Frederick; et al. (July 2012), "Rotation Period Determination for 203 Pompeja - Another Triumph of Global Collaboration", The Minor Planet Bulletin, 39 (3): 99, Bibcode:2012MPBu...39...99P
  4. ^ Hasegawa, Sunao; Marsset, Michaël; Demeo, Francesca E.; Bus, Schelte J.; Geem, Jooyeon; Ishiguro, Masateru; Im, Myungshin; Kuroda, Daisuke; Vernazza, Pierre (2021), "Discovery of two TNO-like bodies in the asteroid belt", The Astrophysical Journal Letters, 916 (1): L6, arXiv:2106.14991, Bibcode:2021ApJ...916L...6H, doi:10.3847/2041-8213/ac0f05, S2CID 235669878

External linksEdit