September 26 – Discovery of Asteroid 610 Valeska (1906)

Asteroid 610 Valeska was discovered on September 26th, 1906, by Max Wolf at Heidelberg.

The JPL Small Body Database Browser gives a diameter of 19.153 km (I’m happy with “just under 20”).

Now, Lutz D Schmadel’s Dictionary of Minor Planet Names has this one listed in the appendix of bodies for which the origin of the name is unknown, although it points out that the provisional discovery designation was “1906 VK”, and the letters v and k are prominent in the chosen name. There was actually a fairly famous Valeska around at the time of the discovery and naming, but I’m not sure whether she was big enough to impress the astronomers of Heidelberg.

Valeska Suratt
Valeska Suratt

Valeska Suratt was born on June 28th, 1882, in Owensville, Indianna, and began an acting career in Vaudeville at the turn of the 20th century. She moved onto Broadway in 1906, and began a film career in 1915. Unfortunately Max Wolf, though he did visit the USA, did so way before Suratt became famous.

But a minor detail like that isn’t going to stop me from adding her photograph to today’s blog.

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