2101 Adonis
2101 Adonis was one of the first near-Earth asteroids to be discovered. It was discovered by Eugene Delporte in 1936 and named after Adonis
Adonis , in Greek mythology, the god of beauty and desire, is a figure with Northwest Semitic antecedents, where he is a central figure in various mystery religions. The Greek , Adōnis is a variation of the Semitic word Adonai, "lord", which is also one of the names used to refer to God in the Old...

, the beautiful youth with whom the goddess Venus
Venus (mythology)
Venus is a Roman goddess principally associated with love, beauty, sex,sexual seduction and fertility, who played a key role in many Roman religious festivals and myths...

 fell in love. 2101 Adonis is believed to measure approximately 1 km in diameter.

In the close approach that led to its initial discovery, not enough observations could be made to calculate an orbit, and Adonis was a lost asteroid until 1977 when it was rediscovered by Charles T. Kowal
Charles T. Kowal
Charles Thomas Kowal was an American astronomer.He discovered two moons of Jupiter: Leda in 1974 and Themisto in 1975, although the latter was lost and not rediscovered until 2000....


Adonis was the second Apollo asteroid
Apollo asteroid
The Apollo asteroids are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after 1862 Apollo, the first asteroid of this group to be discovered by Karl Wilhelm Reinmuth...

 to be discovered (after 1862 Apollo
1862 Apollo
1862 Apollo is a Q-type asteroid, discovered by Karl Reinmuth in 1932, but lost and not recovered until 1973. It is named after the Greek god Apollo....

 itself). It may be an extinct comet
Extinct comet
Extinct comets are comets that have expelled most of their volatile ice and have little left to form a tail or coma. The volatile material contained in the comet nucleus evaporates away, and all that remains is inert rock or rubble that can resemble an asteroid. Comets may go through a transition...

, and may be the source of some meteor showers.

Adonis makes close approaches to Venus
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. The planet is named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows...

, Earth
Earth is the third planet from the Sun, and the densest and fifth-largest of the eight planets in the Solar System. It is also the largest of the Solar System's four terrestrial planets...

, and Mars
Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun in the Solar System. The planet is named after the Roman god of war, Mars. It is often described as the "Red Planet", as the iron oxide prevalent on its surface gives it a reddish appearance...

. It comes within 30 Gm
A gigametre is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one billion meters, the SI base unit of length, hence to 1,000,000 km or approximately 621,370 miles....

 of the Earth six times in the 21st century, the nearest being 5.3 Gm in 2036.

Adonis in fiction

See Asteroids in fiction
Asteroids in fiction
Asteroids and asteroid belts are a staple of science fiction stories. Asteroids play several potential roles in science fiction: as places which human beings might colonize; as resources for extracting minerals; as a hazard encountered by spaceships traveling between two other points; and as a...


In the 1954 Tintin
The Adventures of Tintin
The Adventures of Tintin is a series of classic comic books created by Belgian artist , who wrote under the pen name of Hergé...

 comic book Explorers on the Moon
Explorers on the Moon
Explorers on the Moon, published in 1954, is the seventeenth of The Adventures of Tintin, a series of classic comic-strip albums, written and illustrated by Belgian writer and illustrator Hergé, featuring young reporter Tintin as a hero. Its original French title is On a marché sur la Lune...

, a drunken Captain Haddock
Captain Haddock
Captain Archibald Haddock is a fictional character in The Adventures of Tintin, the series of classic Belgian comic books written and illustrated by Hergé...

almost becomes a satellite of the asteroid, which is improbably depicted passing between the Earth and the Moon.

External links

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