The Asteroid Mathilde
In Illinois, United States
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An asteroid :) . This is a cache in a series that represents a scale model of the solar system at 66 million to one scale. The inner dome of the Adler Planetatrium represents the surface of The Sun.
This cache represents the asteroid Mathilde.
253 Mathilde is a main belt asteroid that was discovered by Johann Palisa in 1885. It has a relatively elliptical orbit that requires more than four years to circle the Sun. This asteroid has an unusually slow rate of rotation, requiring 17.4 days to complete a 360° revolution about its axis. It is a primitive C-type asteroid, which means the surface has a high proportion of carbon; giving it a dark surface that reflects only 4% of the light that falls on it.
NASA image of 253 Mathilde
This asteroid was visited by the NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft during June 1997, on its way to asteroid 433 Eros. The spacecraft imaged a hemisphere of the asteroid, revealing many large craters that have gouged out depressions in the surface. It is currently the largest asteroid to be visited by a spacecraft, and the first C-type asteroid to be so explored.
Info from and more available at Wikipedia and here.
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Last Updated: on 3/2/2014 12:39:46 PM (UTC-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada) (8:39 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum