5 Astraea is a large main-belt asteroid. Its surface is highly reflective (bright) and its composition is probably a mixture of nickel-iron with magnesium- and iron-silicates.
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.
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Category: Astronomical Symbols.
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Asteroids are minor planets (small Solar System bodies and dwarf planets) that are not comets, especially those of the inner Solar System. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger… read more »
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