October 14 – Asteroid 176 Iduna

Today we have an asteroid with a name from a source I wasn’t expecting.  176 Iduna, discovered on the 14th of October 1877 by Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters, was apparently named, by its discoverer, in honour of a social club in Stockholm that had hosted a meeting of the Astronomischen Gesellschaft (literally Astronomical Society) in 1877.  This G-type main belt asteroid still manages, though, to have a mythological connection.  The social club (the Ydun) got its name from a Norse goddess, Iðunn, associated with youth and apples.  The name translates vaguely into English as “ever young”.

Stockholm (image: me)

Stockholm (image: me)

That’s twice in two weeks I’ve been able to find a flimsy reason to sneak my own photographs in.  Last time it was Copenhagen: today it’s Stockholm.  To redress the balance, here’s a picture of the goddess Iðunn as well:

Bragi and Iðunn (1846) by Nils Blommér

Bragi and Iðunn (1846) by Nils Blommér

(Iðunn is the one with the apples.)

1884  –  Discovery of asteroid 244 Sita by Johann Palissa.

1964  –  Launch of Kosmos 48.



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