September 25 – Asteroid 203 Pompeja

Asteroid 203 Pompeja was discovered on September 25th 1879 by our old workaholic friend Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters.  There isn’t much to say about it except it’s about 116 km across, and completes one orbit of the Sun every four and a half Earth years.  Peters made all 48 of his asteroid discoveries, between 1861 and 1889, from the Litchfield Observatory at Hamilton College, Clinton, NY.  Unfortunately it has since burnt down.

Pompeii (photo by me)

Pompeii (photo by me)

Pompeja was named after the town of Pompeii, and given a suitably asteroidal name by changing the ending (for some reason they sound better if they finish with an “a”).  Pompeii is an amazing place; you really should go.

Aphelion 3.376 AU
Perihelion 2.082 AU
Orbital period 4.51 years
orbital speed 18.03 km/second
Semi-major axis 2.729 AU
Eccentricity 0.237
Inclination 10.921°
Longitude of ascending node 97.251°

(epoch – Jan 30 2005)


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