40 Harmonia

Harmonia (minor planet designation: 40 Harmonia) is a large main-belt asteroid. It was discovered by German-French astronomer Hermann Goldschmidt on March 31, 1856,[5] and named after Harmonia, the Greek goddess of harmony. The name was chosen to mark the end of the Crimean War.

40 Harmonia
40Harmonia (Lightcurve Inversion).png
A three-dimensional model of 40 Harmonia based on its light curve
Discovered byH. Goldschmidt
Discovery dateMarch 31, 1856
(40) Harmonia
Named after
1950 XU
Main belt
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch December 31, 2006 (JD 2454100.5)
Aphelion355.021 Gm (2.373 AU)
Perihelion323.537 Gm (2.163 AU)
339.279 Gm (2.268 AU)
1,247.514 d (3.42 a)
Physical characteristics
Dimensions107.6 km
Mass~1.3×1018 kg
0.3712 d (8.909 h)[3]
9.31 (brightest)

The asteroid is orbiting the Sun with a period of 3.42 years and a relatively low eccentricity of 0.046. It has a cross-sectional size of 107.6 km. The spectrum of 40 Harmonia matches an S-type (silicate) in the Tholen classification system, and is similar to primitive achondrite meteorites.[6] Photometric observations at the Organ Mesa Observatory in Las Cruces, New Mexico during 2008–09 were used to generate a light curve that showed four unequal minima and maxima per cycle. The curve shows a period of 8.909 ± 0.001 hours with a brightness variation of 0.28 ± 0.02 in magnitude. This result is compatible with previous studies.[3]

Speckle interferometric observations carried out with the Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope at the Kitt Peak National Observatory during 1982–84 failed to discover a satellite companion.[7] 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.[8]


  1. ^ Noah Webster (1884) A Practical Dictionary of the English Language
  2. ^ Yeomans, Donald K., "40 Harmonia", JPL Small-Body Database Browser, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, retrieved 7 April 2013.
  3. ^ a b Pilcher, Frederick (October 2009), "New Lightcurves of 8 Flora, 13 Egeria, 14 Irene, 25 Phocaea 40 Harmonia, 74 Galatea, and 122 Gerda", The Minor Planet Bulletin, 36 (4), pp. 133–136, Bibcode:2009MPBu...36..133P.
  4. ^ Asteroid Data Archive, Planetary Science Institute, archived from the original on 23 June 2006, retrieved 3 November 2008.
  5. ^ "Numbered Minor Planets 1–5000", Discovery Circumstances, IAU Minor Planet center, retrieved 7 April 2013.
  6. ^ Hiroi, T.; et al. (March 1993), "Modeling of S-type asteroid spectra using primitive achondrites and iron meteorites", Icarus, 102 (1), pp. 107–116, Bibcode:1993Icar..102..107H, doi:10.1006/icar.1993.1036.
  7. ^ Roberts, Lewis C., Jr.; et al. (November 1995), "A Speckle Interferometric Survey for Asteroid Duplicity", Astronomical Journal, 110, pp. 2463–2468, Bibcode:1995AJ....110.2463R, doi:10.1086/117704.
  8. ^ 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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