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Helga (minor planet designation: 522 Helga), provisional designation 1904 NC is an asteroid (minor planet) orbiting the Sun discovered in 1904 by Max Wolf in Heidelberg. Helga is notable for being the first such object to be shown to be in a stable but chaotic orbit in resonance with Jupiter, its Lyapunov time being relatively short, at 6,900 yr. Despite this, its orbit appears to be stable, as the eccentricity and precession rates are such that it avoids close encounters with Jupiter.[2]

522 Helga
Discovered byMax Wolf
Discovery siteHeidelberg Observatory
Discovery date10 January 1904
MPC designation(522) Helga
1904 NC
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 31 July 2016 (JD 2457600.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc114.65 yr (41876 d)
Aphelion3.9372 AU (589.00 Gm)
Perihelion3.3284 AU (497.92 Gm)
3.6328 AU (543.46 Gm)
6.92 yr (2529.1 d)
0° 8m 32.424s / day
Physical characteristics
Mean radius
50.61±1.75 km
8.129 h (0.3387 d)

522 Helga was "named by Lt. Th. Lassen, orbit computer" according to Paul Herget's The Names of the Minor Planets[3] (note that computer does not refer to a personal computer, i.e. a machine, but rather to a person actually doing the necessary calculations).


  1. ^ "522 Helga (1904 NC)". JPL Small-Body Database. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 6 May 2016.
  2. ^ Nature
  3. ^ Title: Benennung von kleinen Planeten; Journal: Astronomische Nachrichten, volume 169, p.363; Bibliographic Code: 1905AN....169..363.

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