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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}}

5 Astraea is a large asteroid from the asteroid belt. Its surface is highly reflective (bright) and its composition is probably a mixture of nickeliron with silicates of magnesium and iron. It is an S-type object in the Tholen classification system.<ref name=jpl>"JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 5 Astraea</ref>

Size comparison: the first 10 asteroids profiled against Earth's Moon. Astraea is the fifth from the left.

Astraea was the fifth asteroid discovered, on December 8, 1845, by K. L. Hencke and named for Astræa, a goddess of justice named after the stars. It was his first of two asteroid discoveries. The second was 6 Hebe. An amateur astronomer and post office employee, Hencke was looking for 4 Vesta when he stumbled on Astraea. The King of Prussia awarded him an annual pension of 1,200 marks for the discovery.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Photometry indicates prograde rotation, that the north pole points in the direction of right ascension 9 h 52 min, declination 73° with a 5° uncertainty.<ref name=Lopez-Gonzales /> This gives an axial tilt of about 33°.

The orbit of 5 Astraea compared with the orbits of Earth, Mars and Jupiter

Astraea is physically unremarkable but notable mainly because for 38 years (after the discovery of Vesta in 1807) it had been thought that there were only four asteroids.<ref name=18planets>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In terms of maximum brightness, it is indeed only the seventeenth brightest main-belt asteroid, being fainter than 192 Nausikaa and even, at rare near-perihelion oppositions, the highly eccentric carbonaceous 324 Bamberga.[1] It will be at magnitude +8.7 on a favorable opposition on February 15, 2016.

After the discovery of Astraea, thousands of other asteroids would follow. Indeed, the discovery of Astraea proved to be the starting point for the eventual demotion of the four original asteroids (which were regarded as planets at the time)<ref name=18planets/> to their current status, as it became apparent that these four were only the largest of a whole new type of celestial body.

An occultation on 6 June 2008 produced an effective diameter (silhouette) of 115±6 km.<ref name="Ďurech2011">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

Astraea has been studied by radar.<ref name="detected">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Arecibo observed Astraea in March 2012.<ref name="Arecibo">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>http://www.naic.edu/~pradar/</ref>


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{{#invoke:Hatnote|hatnote}} {{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}}

5 Astraea is a large asteroid from the asteroid belt. Its surface is highly reflective (bright) and its composition is probably a mixture of nickeliron with silicates of magnesium and iron. It is an S-type object in the Tholen classification system.<ref name=jpl>"JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 5 Astraea</ref>

Size comparison: the first 10 asteroids profiled against Earth's Moon. Astraea is the fifth from the left.

Astraea was the fifth asteroid discovered, on December 8, 1845, by K. L. Hencke and named for Astræa, a goddess of justice named after the stars. It was his first of two asteroid discoveries. The second was 6 Hebe. An amateur astronomer and post office employee, Hencke was looking for 4 Vesta when he stumbled on Astraea. The King of Prussia awarded him an annual pension of 1,200 marks for the discovery.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref>

Photometry indicates prograde rotation, that the north pole points in the direction of right ascension 9 h 52 min, declination 73° with a 5° uncertainty.<ref name=Lopez-Gonzales /> This gives an axial tilt of about 33°.

The orbit of 5 Astraea compared with the orbits of Earth, Mars and Jupiter

Astraea is physically unremarkable but notable mainly because for 38 years (after the discovery of Vesta in 1807) it had been thought that there were only four asteroids.<ref name=18planets>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> In terms of maximum brightness, it is indeed only the seventeenth brightest main-belt asteroid, being fainter than 192 Nausikaa and even, at rare near-perihelion oppositions, the highly eccentric carbonaceous 324 Bamberga.[1] It will be at magnitude +8.7 on a favorable opposition on February 15, 2016.

After the discovery of Astraea, thousands of other asteroids would follow. Indeed, the discovery of Astraea proved to be the starting point for the eventual demotion of the four original asteroids (which were regarded as planets at the time)<ref name=18planets/> to their current status, as it became apparent that these four were only the largest of a whole new type of celestial body.

An occultation on 6 June 2008 produced an effective diameter (silhouette) of 115±6 km.<ref name="Ďurech2011">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref>

Astraea has been studied by radar.<ref name="detected">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> Arecibo observed Astraea in March 2012.<ref name="Arecibo">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>http://www.naic.edu/~pradar/</ref>


5 Astraea sections
Intro  See also  References  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: See also
<<>>