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259 Aletheia is a very large main-belt asteroid that was discovered by German–American astronomer Christian Peters on June 28, 1886, at Litchfield Observatory, Clinton, New York. The dark and heterogeneously composed X-type (Tholen: CP-type) asteroid contains primitive carbonaceous materials, responsible for its low albedo of 0.04. Aletheia measures about 185 kilometers in diameter and belongs to the largest asteroids of the main-belt. It has a semi-major axis of 3.1 AU and an orbit inclined by 11 degrees with a period of 5.55 years.<ref name="jpldata" />

Richard P. Binzel and Schelte Bus further added to the knowledge about this asteroid in a lightwave survey published in 2003. This project was known as Small Main-belt Asteroid Spectroscopic Survey, Phase II or SMASSII, which built on a previous survey of the main-belt asteroids. The visible-wavelength (0.435-0.925 micrometre) spectra data was gathered between August 1993 and March 1999.<ref>Bus, S., Binzel, R. P. Small Main-belt Asteroid Spectroscopic Survey, Phase II. EAR-A-I0028-4-SBN0001/SMASSII-V1.0. NASA Planetary Data System, 2003.</ref><ref>JPL Small-Body Database Browser</ref>

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.<ref>Lightcurve Results</ref>

It is named after the Greek goddess of truth, Aletheia, the daughter of Zeus and one of the nurses of Apollo.<ref name="springer" />


(259) Aletheia sections
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