20 Massalia

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20 Massalia
Discovered byAnnibale de Gasparis
Discovery dateSeptember 19, 1852
Main belt (Massalia family)
Orbital characteristics
Epoch October 22, 2004 (JD 2453300.5)
Aphelion411.911 Gm (2.753 AU)
Perihelion308.699 Gm (2.064 AU)
360.305 Gm (2.408 AU)
1365.261 d (3.74 a)
19.09 km/s
Physical characteristics
Dimensions160×145×130 km [1][2]
Mass5.2×1018 kg [3]
Mean density
3.2 g/cm³
0.054 m/s²
0.093 km/s
0.3374 d (8.098 h) [4]
Albedo0.210 (geometric)[1]
Temperature~174 K
max: 265 K (-8°C)
Spectral type
S [5]
8.3[6] to 12.0
0.186" to 0.058"

20 Massalia is a big and fairly bright Main belt asteroid. It is also the biggest member of the Massalia family of asteroids.

Characteristics[change | change source]

Massalia is an S-type asteroid. It orbits at very low inclination in the intermediate main belt, and is by far the biggest asteroid in the Massalia family. The remaining family members are pieces blown off by a cratering event on Massalia [7]

Massalia has an above-average density for S-type asteroids, similar to the density of silicate rocks. As such, it appears to be a solid un-fractured body, which is rare among asteroids of its size. Apart from the few biggest bodies over 400 km in diameter, such as 1 Ceres and 4 Vesta, most asteroids appear to have been fractured a lot.

Lightcurve analysis indicates that Massalia's pole points towards either ecliptic coordinates (β, λ) = (45°, 10°) or (β, λ) = (45°, 190°) with a 10° uncertainty.[2] This gives an axial tilt of 45°in both cases. The shape reconstruction from lightcurves has been described as quite spherical with large planar, nonconvex parts of the surface.

Discovery[change | change source]

Massalia was found by A. de Gasparis on September 19, 1852, and also found independently the next night by J. Chacornac. It was Chacornac's discovery that was announced first.

Massalia is the Greek name for Marseille, where Chacornac made his discovery (de Gasparis was observing from Naples).

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 "Supplemental IRAS Minor Planet Survey". Archived from the original on 2006-06-23. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
  2. 2.0 2.1 M. Kaasalainen; et al. (2002). "Models of Twenty Asteroids from Photometric Data" (PDF). Icarus. 159 (2): 369. doi:10.1006/icar.2002.6907. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-02-16. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
  3. J. Bange (1998). "An estimation of the mass of asteroid 20-Massalia derived from the HIPPARCOS minor planets data". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 340: L1. Archived from the original on 2012-02-12. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
  4. "PDS lightcurve data". Archived from the original on 2006-06-14. Retrieved 2007-12-19.
  5. "PDS spectral class data". Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2007-12-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  6. Donald H. Menzel and Jay M. Pasachoff (1983). A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets (2nd. ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. p. 391. ISBN 978-0-395-34835-2.
  7. D. Vokrouhlický; et al. (2006). "Yarkovsky/YORP chronology of asteroid families". Icarus. 182: 118. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2005.12.010.

Other websites[change | change source]