May 27 – 44 Nysa

Asteroid 44 Nysa is head of the Nysian family of main belt asteroids.  It is a type E asteroid, a group thought to have surfaces of the orthorhombic silicate enstatite, a name I remember well from my days spent hopelessly trying to remember mineral compositions for Mr Hughes’ A-Level Geology class.

Nysa was discovered on May 27th 1857 by our old friend Hermann Goldschmidt, and named not after a person or mythical creature, but a place.  Nysa was a mythological land, linked to Africa , Arabia, or more likely India, where Dionysus was raised by the Hyades.