September 15 – 47 Aglaja

47 Aglaja (the “aja” is pronounced like the “iar” in “friar”) is a C-type main belt asteroid, about 140 km (80 miles) wide, following a fairly average path around the Sun at a fairly average speed of about 17.5 km/s.  It was discovered on September 15th 1857 by one of our regular contributors, Robert Luther, and  was named after one of the Charites of Greek mythology (who have become more famous under their Roman name of the Graces).  Aglaia (or Aglaea) was responsible for splendour.  We have already encountered another of the trio, Euphrosyne, (“mirth”) on September 1st, but we won’t be coming across the third, Thalia (“good cheer”), because she shares her name with the more popularMuse of Comedy, who we will probably meet on December 15th.

The Three Graces

The Three Graces

Today’s accompanying artwork is by the German artist  and former student of Albrecht Dürer, Hans Baldung (c. 1484 to 1545).  In this painting I have no idea which Grace is which.

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