May 22 – 41 Daphne

Asteroid 41 Daphne was discovered on May 22nd 1856 by Hermann Goldschmidt. It is a C-type, main belt asteroid, orbiting in 9:22 mean orbital resonance with Mars. It has a satellite, S/2008 (41) 1 which flies round it every 1.1 days.

Daphne was a nymph who attracted the eye (among other organs) of the god Apollo. She wasn’t keen on his advances, though, and pleaded for help to her father, a river god. His bizarre solution to her problem was to turn his daughter into a laurel tree.

Apollo and Daphne, by Veronese.

Apollo and Daphne, by Veronese.


Thomas Gold was born on this day in 1920. Gold was an Austrian-born astrophysicist, proponent of the steady state theory of the universe, whose family fled to Britain when the Germans invaded. The British government, compassionate and understanding as always, had him thrown into an internment camp as an enemy alien for the first two years of the war, but later relented and put him to work on radar development.


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