July 12 – Discovery of Asteroid 164 Eva (1876)

Asteroid 164 Eva was discovered on July 12, 1876 by brothers Paul and Prosper Henry from Paris. It is a main belt asteroid, about 102 km wide, has a day of around thirteen and a half hours, and a year equal to 4.3 of our own. At this point I would normally tell you about the choice of the name Eva, but I can’t, as it seems nobody knows. I will, though, point out that the brothers Henry had a habit of naming their discoveries in appreciation of the astronomer and author Camille Flammarion, and there is a character called Eva in his science fiction novel Omega: the Last Days of the World. ¬†Unfortunately, the book wasn’t written until 1893, but I’ve got a hunch that both the asteroid and the character were named after the same person. ¬†However, finding their identity 140 years later with no paper trail is another matter.