Erato /ˈɛrət/ (minor planet designation: 62 Erato) is a carbonaceous Themistian asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 95 kilometers (59 miles) in diameter. Photometric measurements during 2004–2005 showed a rotation period of 9.2213±0.0007 h with an amplitude of 0.116±0.005 in magnitude.[5] It is orbiting the Sun with a period of 5.52 yr, a semimajor axis of 3.122 AU, and eccentricity of 0.178. The orbital plane is inclined by an angle of 2.22° to the plane of the ecliptic.

62 Erato
62Erato (Lightcurve Inversion).png
Lightcurve-based 3D-model of Erato
Discovered byOskar Lesser
Wilhelm Julius Foerster
Discovery date14 September 1860
(62) Erato
Named after
Ἐρατώ Eratō
main-belt · (middle)
AdjectivesEratoian /ɛrəˈt.iən/
Orbital characteristics
Epoch 31 December 2006 (JD 2454100.5)
Aphelion3.679 AU (550.4 Gm)
Perihelion2.566 AU (383.9 Gm)
3.122 AU (467.0 Gm)
2,015.178 d (5.52 yr)
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
95.4 km
Mass~6.27×1017 kg (calculated)
Mean density
1.38 g/cm3 (assumed)[3]
5.675±0.001 h[4] or 9.2213±0.0007 h[5]
BU (Tholen)

Erato is the first asteroid to have been credited with co-discoverers, Oskar Lesser and Wilhelm Forster, who discovered it on 14 September 1860, from the Berlin Observatory. It was their first and only asteroid discovery. The name was chosen by Johann Franz Encke, director of the observatory, and refers to Erato, the Muse of lyric poetry in Greek mythology.[7] It has also been classified as an Eoan asteroid.[4]


  1. ^ "Asteroid 62 Erato". Small Bodies Data Ferret. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  2. ^ Noah Webster (1884) A Practical Dictionary of the English Language
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b Alvarez-Candal, Alvaro; et al. (December 2004), "Rotational lightcurves of asteroids belonging to families", Icarus, 172 (2): 388–401, Bibcode:2004Icar..172..388A, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2004.06.008.
  5. ^ a b Gonçalves, Rui M. D.; Behrend, Raoul (March 2006), "Lightcurve of 62 Erato", Bulletin of the Minor Planets Section of the Association of Lunar and Planetary Observers, 33 (1): 7, Bibcode:2006MPBu...33....7G.
  6. ^ "Asteroid Data Sets". Archived from the original on 17 December 2009. Retrieved 13 January 2007.
  7. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names. Springer Science & Business Media. p. 21. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.

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