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Discovered 1845 Dec. 8 by K. L. Hencke at Driesen.

This is the Latin name for the Greek Astraia. This was the goddess of justice, daughter of Zeus and Themis {see planets  (5731) and  (24)}. Astraea lived on earth during the Golden Age, but the wickedness and impiety of mankind during the Brazen and Iron ages drove her to heaven, where she was placed among the constellations of the zodiac under the name Virgo. (H 2; Z 34)

Named by J. F. Encke (Am. J. Sci., Vol. 2, p. 435 (1846)). The symbol used for Astraea in Open image in new window ancient times was a pair of balances.

The planet was accidentally discovered while looking for (4) Vesta.

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© Springer-Verlag 2003

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