(20) Massalia

Reference work entry

Discovered 1852 Sept. 19 by A. de Gasparis at Naples.

Independently discovered 1852 Sept. 20 by J. Chacornac at Marseilles.

This is the Greek name of the city of Marseilles. The Latin spelling Massilia was also used sometimes. (H 4)

Named by B. Valz without knowledge of the Naples discovery. The planet was detected independently by J. Chacornac at Marseilles 1852 September 20. De Gasparis acquiesced in the matter. Valz was one of the first to suggest the encircled number of the planet as its symbol which is now modified to parentheses (AN 35, 194 (1852)). A. de Gasparis had chosen the name Themis for this planet {see also planet  (24)} as proposed by Herschel (AN 35, 279 (1852)).

This is the first minor planet name which does not originate from ancient mythologies.

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

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