48 Doris
48 Doris is one of the largest main belt asteroid
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 was discovered by Hermann Goldschmidt on September 19, 1857 from his balcony in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...



To find a name for the object, Jacques Babinet
Jacques Babinet
Jacques Babinet was a French physicist, mathematician, and astronomer who is best known for his contributions to optics....

 of the Academy of Sciences
Academy of Sciences
An Academy of Sciences is a national academy or another learned society dedicated to sciences.In non-English speaking countries, the range of academic fields of the members of a national Academy of Science often includes fields which would not normally be classed as "science" in English...

 created a shortlist and asked the geologist
A geologist is a scientist who studies the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth as well as the processes and history that has shaped it. Geologists usually engage in studying geology. Geologists, studying more of an applied science than a theoretical one, must approach Geology using...

 Élie de Beaumont
Jean-Baptiste Élie de Beaumont
Jean-Baptiste Armand Louis Léonce Élie de Beaumont was a French geologist.-Biography:Élie de Beaumont was born at Canon, in Calvados...

 to make the selection. De Beaumont chose Doris
Doris (mythology)
Doris , an Oceanid, was a sea nymph in Greek mythology, whose name represented the bounty of the sea. She was the daughter of Oceanus and Tethys and the wife of Nereus. She was also aunt to Atlas, the titan who was made to carry the sky upon his shoulders, whose mother Clymene was a sister of Doris...

, after an Oceanid
In Greek mythology and, later, Roman mythology, the Oceanids were the three thousand daughters of the Titans Oceanus and Tethys. Each was the patroness of a particular spring, river, sea, lake, pond, pasture, flower or cloud...

 in Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

. Since Doris was discovered on the same night as 49 Pales
49 Pales
49 Pales is a large, dark main-belt asteroid. It was discovered by Hermann Goldschmidt on September 19, 1857 from his balcony in Paris.The asteroid is named after Pales, the goddess of shepherds in Roman mythology. Since it was discovered on the same night as 48 Doris, geologist Élie de Beaumont...

, de Deaumont suggested naming the two "The Twins".

Physical characteristics

An occultation
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...

 on March 19, 1981, suggested a diameter of 219±25 km. Observations of an occultation on October 14, 1999, using four well-placed chords
Chord (astronomy)
In the field of astronomy the term chord typically refers to a line crossing an object which is formed during an occultation event. By taking accurate measurements of the start and end times of the event, in conjunction with the known location of the observer and the object's orbit, the length of...

, indicate an ellipsoid of 278×142 km and that 48 Doris is an extremely irregular shaped object.


Doris will pass within 0.019 AU
Astronomical unit
An astronomical unit is a unit of length equal to about or approximately the mean Earth–Sun distance....

 of Pallas
2 Pallas
Pallas, formally designated 2 Pallas, is the second asteroid to have been discovered , and one of the largest. It is estimated to constitute 7% of the mass of the asteroid belt, and its diameter of 530–565 km is comparable to, or slightly larger than, that of 4 Vesta. It is however 20%...

 in June 2132.

In popular culture

48 Doris is a location in the text-based science fiction game Federation 2
Federation II
Federation II is an online text-based game also known as Federation 2 or Fed2, designed and programmed by Alan Lenton and developed by IBGames that centers on the intergalactic trade and economy in the distant future. The game was originally launched in 2003, but started attracting larger crowds...


External links

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