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102 Miriam is a moderately large, very dark main belt asteroid. It was discovered by C. H. F. Peters on August 22, 1868, from the Litchfield Observatory.<ref name="MPC"/>

Peters named the asteroid after Miriam, the sister of Moses in the Old Testament. This caused some controversy, because at the time, asteroids were expected to be named after mythological figures, and the devout would not regard Biblical figures as such. According to fellow astronomer Edward S. Holden, Peters deliberately chose a name from the Bible so as to annoy an overly pious theology professor of his acquaintance.<ref>Lutz D. Schmadel, Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, p. 25.</ref>

Photometric observations of this asteroid during 2007 at the Organ Mesa Observatory in Las Cruces, New Mexico, were used to create a light curve plot. This showed a rotation period of 23.613 ± 0.001 hours and a brightness variation of 0.12 ± 0.02 magnitude. The curve shows three maxima and minima during each cycle.<ref name="Pilcher2008"/> This value for the period differs from the 15.789 hour estimate produced in a 2008 study.<ref name=Johnson2008/>


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