125 Liberatrix

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125 Liberatrix
A three-dimensional model of 125 Liberatrix based on its light curve.
Discovered byPaul Henry and Prosper Henry
Discovery date11 September 1872
(125) Liberatrix
A872 RA; 1902 EG;
1943 FE; 1949 OE1;
1949 SM; 1954 TD1
Main belt
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 31 July 2016 (JD 2457600.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc143.54 yr (52428 d)
Aphelion2.95698 AU (442.358 Gm)
Perihelion2.53084 AU (378.608 Gm)
2.74391 AU (410.483 Gm)
4.55 yr (1660.2 d)
17.96 km/s
0° 13m 0.642s / day
Earth MOID1.51912 AU (227.257 Gm)
Jupiter MOID2.13019 AU (318.672 Gm)
Physical characteristics
Dimensions43.58±2.3 km[2]
61.058 km[3]
Mass8.7×1016 kg
Mean density
2.0 g/cm3
Equatorial surface gravity
0.0122 m/s2
Equatorial escape velocity
0.0231 km/s
3.968 h (0.1653 d)[2][4]
0.1305 ± 0.0269[3]
Temperature~168 K
M (Tholen)[3]
9.04,[2] 8.90[3]

Liberatrix (minor planet designation: 125 Liberatrix) is a main-belt asteroid. It has a relatively reflective surface and an M-type spectrum. Liberatrix is a member of an asteroid family bearing its own name.

It was discovered by Prosper Henry on 11 September 1872, from Paris. Some sources give Paul Henry sole credit for its discovery.[5] The asteroid's name is a feminine version of the word "liberator". Henry may have chosen the name to mark the liberation of France from Prussia during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870. More specifically, it may honor Adolphe Thiers, the first President of the French Republic, who arranged a loan that enabled the Prussian troops to be removed from France.[5]

In the late 1990s, a network of astronomers worldwide gathered lightcurve data to derive the spin states and shape models of 10 asteroids, including Liberatrix. Liberatrix's lightcurve has a large amplitude of 0.4 in magnitude, indicating an elongated or irregular shape.[4][6]

The spectrum of this asteroid matches a M-type asteroid. It may be the remnant of an asteroid that had undergone differentiation, with orthopyroxene minerals scattered evenly across the surface. There is no indication of hydration.[7]

To date, there have been at least two observed occultations by Liberatrix. Early on 11 December 2014, Liberatrix occulted a 9th magnitude star and will be visible over the majority of Southern California and a swath of Mexico.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "liberatrix". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 22 March 2020.
  2. ^ a b c d e Yeomans, Donald K., "125 Liberatrix", JPL Small-Body Database Browser, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, retrieved 12 May 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d Pravec, P.; et al. (May 2012), "Absolute Magnitudes of Asteroids and a Revision of Asteroid Albedo Estimates from WISE Thermal Observations", Asteroids, Comets, Meteors 2012, Proceedings of the conference held May 16–20, 2012 in Niigata, Japan, no. 1667, Bibcode:2012LPICo1667.6089P.
  4. ^ a b Durech, J.; et al. (April 2007), "Physical models of ten asteroids from an observers' collaboration network", Astronomy and Astrophysics, vol. 465, no. 1, pp. 331–337, Bibcode:2007A&A...465..331D, doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20066347.
  5. ^ a b Schmadel Lutz D. Dictionary of Minor Planet Names (fifth edition), Springer, 2003. ISBN 3-540-00238-3.
  6. ^ Durech, J.; Kaasalainen, M.; Marciniak, A.; Allen, W. H. et al. "Asteroid brightness and geometry," Astronomy and Astrophysics, Volume 465, Issue 1, April I 2007, pp. 331-337.
  7. ^ Hardersen, Paul S.; Gaffey, Michael J.; Abell, Paul A. (January 1983), "Near-IR spectral evidence for the presence of iron-poor orthopyroxenes on the surfaces of six M-type asteroids", Icarus, vol. 175, no. 1, pp. 141–158, Bibcode:2005Icar..175..141H, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2004.10.017.

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