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238 Hypatia is a very large main-belt asteroid that was discovered by Russian astronomer Viktor Knorre on July 1, 1884, in Berlin. It was the third of his four asteroid discoveries. The name was given in honour of philosopher Hypatia of Alexandria. Based upon the spectrum, it is classified as a C-type asteroid<ref name="aas128_525"/> and is probably composed of primitive carbonaceous material. Like many asteroids of this type, its surface is very dark in colour.

Photometric observations of this asteroid at the European Southern Observatory in 1981 gave a light curve with a period of 8.9 ± 0.1 hours and a brightness variation of 0.12 in magnitude.<ref name="Schober1983"/>


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