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212 Medea is a very large main-belt asteroid that was discovered by Johann Palisa on February 6, 1880, in Pola, and was named after Medea, a figure in Greek mythology.<ref>Schmadel Lutz D. Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (fifth edition), Springer, 2003. ISBN 3-540-00238-3.</ref>

Photometric observations of this asteroid in 1987 gave an incomplete light curve with a period of 10.12 ± 0.06 hours and a brightness variation of 0.13 in magnitude. This object has a spectrum that matches a DCX: classification.<ref name="diMartino1995"/> Lightcurve data has also been recorded by observers at the Antelope Hill Observatory, which has been designated as an official observatory by the Minor Planet Center. They found a period of 10.283 hours with a brightness variation of 0.08 magnitude.<ref>Lightcurve Results</ref>


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