April 19 – 161 Athor (and friends)

There’s a lot going on today, and I couldn’t decide which to concentrate on, so here they all are, chronologically, in brief, beginning with . . .

1855  –  C-type main belt asteroid 35 Leukothea (a Greek sea goddess) discovered by Robert Luther.


1870  –  86 km wide M-type main belt asteroid 110 Lydia (a country in Asia Minor in the 15th and 14th centuries BC) discovered by Alphonse Borrelly.


1876  –  M-type main belt asteroid 161 Athor discovered by James Craig Watson.  Hathor, after whom this asteroid is named, was an Egyptian goddess of fertility, motherhood, beauty, and (unusually) mining.  If she looks a little odd in the picture it’s because she is often depicted as a cow.

Hathor emerging from a bed of papyrus
Hathor emerging from a bed of papyrus

1879  –  Carbonaceous asteroid 195 Eurykleia discovered by Johann Palisa.


1882  –  Asteroid 225 Henrietta discovered by Johann Palisa, and named after the wife of French astronomer Jules Janssen.


1955  –  Death of Albert Einsteinamateur violinist (among other things).  There are many witticisms attributed to Einstein, and I was tempted to put one in, probably the one concerning pretty girls and stoves, or the definition if insanity.  But trying to find a definitive translation from German, or even proving that the great man ever said them, is harder than I thought.


1971  –  Launch of Orion 1 space observatory, loaded aboard Salyut 1, the first ever space station.


1975  –  Launch of ARYABHATA, India’s first satellite (launched on their behalf by the Soviet Union).