September 08 – 116 Sirona

116 Sirona is a large, bright, main-belt asteroid, discovered on September 8th 1871 by Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters, discoverer of 48 asteroids, who was working at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York at the time. It was named after the Celtic goddess of healing.

As far as we know, Sirona is about 71 km in diameter, has a rotation period of a little over 12 hours, and is of an S-type composition.

Sirona and Grannus (Musée Archéologique de Dijon)

Sirona and Grannus (Musée Archéologique de Dijon)

The goddess Sirona is one of those local deities who managed to become assimilated into post-Roman conquest worship. Most references to her are found in eastern Gaul, and she is most often seen depicted with Apollo, but has also been found on a stone pillar with Minerva and Hercules. Her main association was with healing springs, but she also had an affinity for snakes.

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2016  –  Launch of NASA’s OSIRIS-Rex sample return mission to asteroid Bennu.

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