Juno is circling in the main asteroid belt with a diameter of more than 233 kilometers (it's like Moscow with its neighborhood cities), at a speed of almost 18 kilometers per second. This is the third asteroid that has been discovered by humanity – the German astronomer Karl Harding discovered it on September 1, 1804.

Karl Harding was born in 1765. When he was 39 years old, the German astronomer and founder of the Lilienthal Observatory, Johann Schröter, invited him to become his son's tutor. That year, Karl Harding joined the top three discoverers of asteroids. He made the discovery while working at his employer's observatory. A large impact crater in the northern part of the Ocean of Storms on the Moon is named after Harding.

The first asteroid to be discovered by astronomers was Ceres. It happened only three and a half years before the discovery of Juno and today Ceres is recognized not as an asteroid, but as a dwarf planet, although it is located in the main belt. The second discovered asteroid was Pallada; it was observed by Heinrich Olbers in Bremen in 1802. Juno was the third discovered asteroid.

Juno's orbit lies in the main asteroid belt between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. There is also a group of S-class silicate asteroids located there, which are named after the largest representative, the Juno family. According to some data, the mass of the asteroid is 1% of the total mass of the asteroid belt. Some researchers think that Juno may be the source of stony meteorites which fall to Earth.

Juno circles the Sun in 4.3 years. During the first half of the 19th century, the asteroid was considered a full-fledged planet, then a minor planet, and only in the 1850s was it reclassified as an asteroid.

Three years after the discovery of Juno, one of the largest asteroids of the main belt – Vesta – was discovered in Bremen. After that, there was a long break in discoveries of celestial bodies, so the next, the fifth asteroid, was discovered only at the end of 1845.


Photo: 123rf.com

Based on open sources