87 Sylvia

87 Sylvia

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87 Sylvia

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<!-- Additional parameters for this template are available at Infobox Planet. -->87 Sylvia ( ) is one of the largest main-belt asteroids. It is a member of the Cybele group located beyond the core of the belt (see Minor planet groups). Sylvia is remarkable for being the first asteroid known to possess more than one moon.

Discovery and naming

Sylvia was discovered by N. R. Pogson on May 16, 1866 from Madras , India.Pogson, N. R. (1866), , Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 26, p. 311 (June 1866) Paul Erget, in his The Names of the Minor Planets (1955), attributes the name as honouring the first wife of astronomer Camille Flammarion, Sylvie Petiaux-Hugo Flammarion (this entry is signed by A. Paluzie-Borrell). However in the article announcing the discovery of this asteroid (MNRAS, 1866), Pogson explained that he selected the name in reference to Rhea Silvia, mother of Romulus and Remus.

Physical characteristics

Sylvia is very dark in color and probably has a very primitive composition. The discovery of its moons made possible an accurate measurement of the asteroid's mass and density. Its density was found to be very low (around 1.2 times the density of water), indicating that the asteroid is porous to very porous; from 25% to as much as 60% of it may be empty space, depending on the details of its composition. However, the mineralogy of the X-type asteroids...
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