19 Fortuna
19 Fortuna is one of the largest main-belt
Asteroid belt
The asteroid belt is the region of the Solar System located roughly between the orbits of the planets Mars and Jupiter. It is occupied by numerous irregularly shaped bodies called asteroids or minor planets...

Asteroids are a class of small Solar System bodies in orbit around the Sun. They have also been called planetoids, especially the larger ones...

s. It has a composition similar to 1 Ceres
1 Ceres
Ceres, formally 1 Ceres, is the smallest identified dwarf planet in the Solar System and the only one in the asteroid belt. With a diameter of about 950 km, Ceres is by far the largest and most-massive asteroid, comprising about a third of the mass of the asteroid belt. Discovered on 1 January 1801...

: a darkly colored surface that is heavily space-weathered
Space weathering
Space weathering is a blanket term used for a number of processes that act on any body exposed to the harsh space environment. Airless bodies incur many weathering processes:* collisions of galactic cosmic rays and solar cosmic rays,* irradiation, implantation, and sputtering from solar wind...

 with the composition of primitive organic compound
Organic compound
An organic compound is any member of a large class of gaseous, liquid, or solid chemical compounds whose molecules contain carbon. For historical reasons discussed below, a few types of carbon-containing compounds such as carbides, carbonates, simple oxides of carbon, and cyanides, as well as the...

s, including tholin
Tholin [after the ancient Greek word meaning "not clear"] is a heteropolymer molecule formed by solar ultraviolet irradiation of simple organic compounds such as methane or ethane. Tholins do not form naturally on modern-day Earth, but are found in great abundance on the surface of icy bodies in...


Fortuna is 225 km in diameter and has one of the darkest known geometric albedos for an asteroid over 150 km in diameter. Its albedo has been measured at 0.028 and 0.037.

The Hubble Space Telescope
Hubble Space Telescope
The Hubble Space Telescope is a space telescope that was carried into orbit by a Space Shuttle in 1990 and remains in operation. A 2.4 meter aperture telescope in low Earth orbit, Hubble's four main instruments observe in the near ultraviolet, visible, and near infrared...

 observed Fortuna in 1993. It was resolved with an apparent diameter of 0.20 arcseconds (4.5 pixel
In digital imaging, a pixel, or pel, is a single point in a raster image, or the smallest addressable screen element in a display device; it is the smallest unit of picture that can be represented or controlled....

s in the Planetary Camera) and its shape was found to be nearly spherical. Satellites
Natural satellite
A natural satellite or moon is a celestial body that orbits a planet or smaller body, which is called its primary. The two terms are used synonymously for non-artificial satellites of planets, of dwarf planets, and of minor planets....

 were searched for but none were detected.

A star is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity. At the end of its lifetime, a star can also contain a proportion of degenerate matter. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy on Earth...

An occultation is an event that occurs when one object is hidden by another object that passes between it and the observer. The word is used in astronomy . It can also refer to any situation wherein an object in the foreground blocks from view an object in the background...

s by Fortuna have been observed several times.

It was discovered by J. R. Hind
John Russell Hind
John Russell Hind FRS was an English astronomer.- Life and work :John Russell Hind was born in 1823 in Nottingham, the son of lace manufacturer John Hind, and was educated at Nottingham High School...

 on August 22, 1852 and named after Fortuna, the Roman
Roman mythology
Roman mythology is the body of traditional stories pertaining to ancient Rome's legendary origins and religious system, as represented in the literature and visual arts of the Romans...

 goddess of luck
Luck or fortuity is good fortune which occurs beyond one's control, without regard to one's will, intention, or desired result. There are at least two senses people usually mean when they use the term, the prescriptive sense and the descriptive sense...


Fortuna has been perturbed
Perturbation (astronomy)
Perturbation is a term used in astronomy in connection with descriptions of the complex motion of a massive body which is subject to appreciable gravitational effects from more than one other massive body....

 by the 80 km 135 Hertha
135 Hertha
135 Hertha is a large main-belt asteroid. Named Hertha, another name for Nerthus, a Germanic fertility goddess. It orbits among the Nysa asteroid family but its classification as an M-type asteroid does not match the more common F-type asteroid for this family, suggesting that it may be an interloper...

 and was initially estimated by Baer to have a mass of 1.08 kg. A more recent estimate by Baer suggests it has a mass of 1.27 kg.

On December 21, 2012 Fortuna (~200 km) will harmlessly pass within 6.5Gm of asteroid 687 Tinette
687 Tinette
-External links:*...


External links

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