September 06 – 94 Aurora

At 225 km long by 173 km wide, the extremely sooty (albedo 0.04) 94 Aurora is one of the largest asteroids known (currently occupying 25th place).  It was discovered on September 6th 1867 by James Craig Watson.

Albedo, as I’m sure you know, is a measure of how reflective a surface is.  It goes from ‘zero’ (completely black) to ‘one’ (perfectly white). Aurora’s 0.04, to give you an idea, is the albedo of charcoal (fresh snow is 0.9).

ans “dawn” in Latin, as in Aurora Borealis, the “northern sunrise” (Borealis comes from Boreas, Greek god of the cold North wind).  Aurora’s family history is a little sketchy and inconsistent, but her siblings are Sol (the Sun) and Luna (have a guess).  She may or may not, depending on who you read, been mother of the Anemoi, the gods of the winds (one of whom of course was Boreas).

Aurora and Cephalus (Guérin).

Aurora and Cephalus (Guérin).

Today’s picture is by our old friend Pierre-Narcisse Guérin, the highly-rated French painter (he was a member of the very exclusive Académie des Beaux-Arts) making his second appearance in a week (see also Phaedre on September 02).

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ALSO TODAY . . . .

1891  –  Birth of Finnish astronomer Yrjö Väisälä.

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