18 Melpomene is a large, bright main-belt asteroid that was discovered by J. R. Hind on June 24, 1852,<ref name="IAU_MPC"/> and named after Melpomenē, the Muse of tragedy in Greek mythology. It is classified as an S-type asteroid and is composed of silicates and metals.
Melpomene occulted the star SAO 114159 on December 11, 1978. A possible Melpomenean satellite with a diameter at least 37 km was detected. The satellite candidate received a provisional designation S/1978 (18) 1.<ref name=IAUC3315/> In 1988 a search for satellites or dust orbiting this asteroid was performed using the UH88 telescope at the Mauna Kea Observatories, but the effort came up empty.<ref name="Gradie1988"/> Melpomene was observed with the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993. It was able to resolve the asteroid's slightly elongated shape, but no satellites were detected.<ref name=Hubble1999/>
Melpomene has been studied by radar.<ref name="detected"/>
18 Melpomene sections
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