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170 Maria is a Main belt asteroid that was discovered by French astronomer Henri Joseph Perrotin on January 10, 1877.<ref name="IAU_MPC"/> Its orbit was computed by Antonio Abetti, and the asteroid was named after his sister, Maria. This is the namesake of the Maria asteroid family; one of the first asteroid families to be identified by Japanese astronomer Kiyotsugu Hirayama in 1918.<ref name="Veeder1995"/>

In the Tholen classification system, this is categorized as a stony S-type asteroid.<ref name="DeMeo2009"/> Observations performed at the Palmer Divide Observatory in Colorado Springs, Colorado during 2007 produced a light curve with a period of 13.120 ± 0.002 hours and a brightness range of 0.21 ± 0.02 in magnitude. Previous measurements from 2000 gave 13.14 and 5.510 hour estimates for the period.<ref name="Warner2007"/> Based upon its spectrum, it is classified as an S-type asteroid.

An occultation of a star by Maria was observed from Manitoba, Canada, on June 10, 1997.


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