September 07 – 103 Hera

For the second day running we turn to Canadian astronomer James Craig Watson for today’s asteroid.  103 Hera was discovered on September 7th 1868, a year and a day after 94 Aurora (there had been two more for him in between).

Hera is a relatively large (about 90 km diameter) stony S-type asteroid.

Hera

Hera

Hera (or Here, pronounced ‘hearee’), as must have been perfectly normal among Greek gods given how frequently it seemed to have happened, was sister and wife of Zeus. She was the daughter of Cronos and Rhea, and mother to Ares,Hephaestus, Hebe and Eris, several of whom will turn up later in the year. Hera, with help from Athena and Aphrodite, was responsible for the Trojan War, after the Trojan prince Paris was drafted in to decide the result of an informal beauty pageant between the three of them. He came down on the side of Aphrodite after she offered him the most beautiful woman in the world as a bribe. The woman in question was Helen of Sparta (later “of Troy” of course) wife of Menelaus, the Spartan king.

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ALSO TODAY . . . .

1914  –  Birth of James Van Allen.

2013  –  Launch of LADEE (Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) by NASA.  LADEE landed on the lunar surface on April 17, 2014.

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