|Discovery date 22 August 1868|
Minor planet category main belt
Discovered 22 August 1868
Spectral type C-type asteroid
Discovery site Litchfield Observatory
|MPC designation 102|
Observation arc 145.65 yr (53198 d)
Named after Miriam
|Discovered by Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters|
Aphelion 3.33419 AU (498.788 Gm)
Discoverer Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters
Similar 165 Loreley, 188 Menippe, 167 Urda, 135 Hertha, 114 Kassandra
Occultation by asteroid 102 miriam on 31 october 2008
102 Miriam is a moderately large, very dark main belt asteroid. It was discovered by C. H. F. Peters on August 22, 1868, from the Litchfield Observatory.
Peters named the asteroid after Miriam, the sister of Moses in the Old Testament. This caused some controversy, because at the time, asteroids were expected to be named after mythological figures, and the devout would not regard Biblical figures as such. According to fellow astronomer Edward S. Holden, Peters deliberately chose a name from the Bible so as to annoy an overly pious theology professor of his acquaintance.
Photometric observations of this asteroid during 2007 at the Organ Mesa Observatory in Las Cruces, New Mexico, were used to create a light curve plot. This showed a rotation period of 23.613 ± 0.001 hours and a brightness variation of 0.12 ± 0.02 magnitude. The curve shows three maxima and minima during each cycle. This value for the period differs from the 15.789 hour estimate produced in a 2008 study.