Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

65 Cybele

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Discovered by  Ernst Wilhelm Tempel
Pronunciation  /ˈsɪbᵻliː/ SIB-əl-ee
Perihelion  459.654 Gm (3.073 AU)
Discoverer  Wilhelm Tempel
Spectral type  C-type asteroid
Named after  Cybele
Discovery date  March 8, 1861
Aphelion  567.544 Gm (3.794 AU)
Discovered  8 March 1861
Orbits  Sun
Asteroid group  Cybele asteroid
65 Cybele httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommons99
Minor planet category  outer main belt (Cybele)
Similar  Wilhelm Tempel discoveries, Other celestial objects

Asteroid 65 cybele

65 Cybele is one of the largest asteroids in the Solar System and is located in the outer asteroid belt. It gives its name to the Cybele family of asteroids that orbit outward from the Sun from the 2:1 orbital resonance with Jupiter. Cybele is a X-type asteroid, meaning that it is dark in color and carbonaceous in composition. It was discovered in 1861 by Ernst Tempel and named after Cybele, the earth goddess.


65 cybele

Discovery and naming

Cybele was discovered on March 8, 1861, by Ernst Tempel from the Marseilles Observatory. A minor controversy arose from its naming process. Tempel had awarded the honour of naming the asteroid to Carl August von Steinheil in recognition of his achievements in telescope production. Von Steinheil elected to name it "Maximiliana" after the reigning monarch Maximilian II of Bavaria. At the time, asteroids were conventionally given classical names, and a number of astronomers protested this contemporary appellation. The name Cybele was chosen instead, referring to the Phrygian goddess of the earth.

Physical characteristics

The first Cybelian stellar occultation was observed on October 17, 1979 in the Soviet Union. The asteroid appeared to have an irregular shape, with the longest chord being measured as 245 km, closely matching the diameter of 237 km determined by the IRAS satellite in 1983. During the same 1979 occultation, a hint of a possible 11 km wide satellite was detected.

The diameter from IRAS observations in 1983 is 237±4 km. In 1985, Green estimated Cybele to have a diameter of 330 km. In 2004, Müller estimated Cybele using thermophysical modelling (TPM) to have dimensions of 302×290×232 km.

In 2007, David Weintraub suggested that it might be in hydrostatic equilibrium, but it this is no longer considered a possibility.


Examination of the asteroid's infrared spectrum shows an absorption feature that is similar to the one present in the spectrum of 24 Themis. This can be explained by the presence of water ice. The asteroid may be covered in a layer of fine silicate dust mixed with small amounts of water-ice and organic solids.

Recent occultations

On August 24, 2008, Cybele occulted 2UCAC 24389317, a 12.7-magnitude star in the constellation Ophiuchus which showed a long axis of at least 294 km. On October 11, 2009, Cybele occulted a 13.4-magnitude star in the constellation Aquarius.


65 Cybele Wikipedia

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