September 24 – Discovery of Asteroid 318 Magdalena (1891)

Asteroid 318 Magdalena, discovered on September 24th 1891 by Auguste Charlois, is a main belt asteroid of about 105 to 106 km diameter, of unknown composition. The reason the name was chosen remains officially a mystery, but Charlois was working in Nice, to where Mary Magdalene was said to have travelled, and he was born in Provence, which has a very strong connection with Mary M., so I’m using that as a good enough reason to include a painting.

St Mary Magdalene Preaching in Marseille (Dutch, 1500 – 1520)
Aphelion 3.461 AU
Perihelion 2.927 AU
Orbital period 5.71 years
orbital speed 16.67 km/sec
Semi-major axis 3.194 AU
Eccentricity 0.084
Inclination 10.641°
Longitude of ascending node 161.671°
Argument of Perihelion 300.312°

(Epoch – Jan 20, 2005).


ALSO TODAY . . . .
1964 – Launch of Kosmos 46 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome. Kosmos 46 spent 8 days in orbit, taking in the view and photographing it, before returning a capsule of film by parachute.