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A Complete Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
SunriseRise: 6:57  
clear_day Transit: 12:11  
SunsetSet: 17:27
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Dwarf Planets and Asteroids » 

Asteroid 18 Melpomene

Altitude: -5.3°   Azimuth: 66.1°   Direction: East-North-East

Asteroid 18 Melpomene was discovered on June 24, 1852, by astronomer John Russell Hind. It is part of the main asteroid belt and is approximately 139 km in diameter. Its name comes from Greek mythology, where Melpomene was the muse of tragedy. The asteroid rotates in about 14.2 hours and orbits the Sun every 4.49 Earth years. Its surface has been observed to have a relatively high albedo, indicating a reflective surface.

Asteroid 18 Melpomene is currently in the constellation of Taurus, at a distance of 282,007,720 kilometers from Earth.

Finder chart of 18 Melpomene in Taurus on February,24 2024
Map showing Asteroid 18 Melpomene in Taurus on February, 24 2024. Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View interactive star map
The current Right Ascension of Asteroid 18 Melpomene is 03h 53m 01s and the Declination is +10° 19’ 01” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current magnitude of Asteroid 18 Melpomene is 10.60 (JPL).

03h 53m 01s
+10° 19’ 01”
Taurus
10.60

Today's rise, transit and set times of Asteroid 18 Melpomene from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 79.7°
Max altitude: 48.9°
Azimuth: 280.2°
  • 18 Melpomene is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Given its current magnitude, 18 Melpomene is visible with the help of a binocular with a 70-80mm aperture or a small telescope.
  • Go to interactive sky chart

If you need to access this information frequently for your observations, you can create a simple customized Quick Access page, so that you can easily bookmark it in your browser favorites or add a shortcut to your mobile phones' home screen.

Available Resources

Asteroid 18 Melpomene Position and Finder Charts

Finder chart of 18 Melpomene
Map showing Asteroid 18 Melpomene in Taurus on February, 24 2024
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Asteroid 18 Melpomene is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

18 Melpomene
RA: 03h 53m 01s
Dec: +10° 19’ 01”
Deep sky finder chart for Asteroid 18 Melpomene
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Asteroid 18 Melpomene?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Asteroid 18 Melpomene in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Asteroid 18 Melpomene Distance from Earth

The distance of Asteroid 18 Melpomene from Earth is currently 282,007,720 kilometers, equivalent to 1.885105 Astronomical Units. Light takes 15 minutes and 40.6765 seconds to travel from Asteroid 18 Melpomene and arrive to us.

282,007,720
1.885105
15 minutes and 40.6765 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Asteroid 18 Melpomene from Earth as a function of time. In the chart the distance data is measured in Astronomical Units and sampled with an interval of 1 day.

Chart of the distance of Asteroid 18 Melpomene from Earth in Astronomical Units (au)

The value of the reported distance might be somewhat inaccurate around the times of closest approach for objects passing extremely close to Earth. The value of the distance of 18 Melpomene from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach of Asteroid 18 Melpomene to Earth

Between 1 January 1900 and 31 December 2099, the closest approach of Asteroid 18 Melpomene to Earth happens on Fri Sep 29 1922 at a distance of 0.809306 Astronomical Units, or 121,070,463 kilometers:

Fri Sep 29 1922
121,070,463
0.809306

NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed with a sampling interval of 1 day.

Asteroid 18 Melpomene Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Asteroid 18 Melpomene, according to the most recent ephemerides data. Magnitude data is sampled with a 2 days interval and there might be inaccuracies for objects changing brightness very rapidly during the course of a few days. For comets there could be large discrepancies between the observed and predicted brightness because of their highly dynamic behaviour.

Chart of the magnitude of Asteroid 18 Melpomene as a function of time

Asteroid 18 Melpomene Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Asteroid 18 Melpomene at epoch 24 February 2023 00:00 UTC (JD: 2460000.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.21816766
Orbit inclination i 10.13264675°
Perihelion distance q 1.79441232 AU
268,440,262 km
Aphelion distance Q 2.79586165 AU
418,254,951 km
Semi-major axis a 2.29513698 AU
343,347,606 km
Orbital period period 3.4771 years
1,270.0223 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2023-Sep-11 16:10:04
2,460,199.1737 JD
Next perihelion transit 2027-Mar-04 16:42
2,461,469.1960 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 228.1817042771°
Longitude of the ascending node node 150.3585514521°
Mean anomaly M 303.68404452944°
Mean motion n 0.28345959°/day

Visualization of Asteroid 18 Melpomene Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Asteroid 18 Melpomene with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Asteroid 18 Melpomene and the planets along their orbits in this diagram accurately represents the current configuration of the objects in the Solar System. This is an experimental feature and it requires a WebGL enabled browser. Please provide us feedback!

Orbit Diagram of Asteroid 18 Melpomene
View Asteroid 18 Melpomene in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Asteroid 18 Melpomene Physical Data

The following shows the known values of the most important physical parameters of Asteroid 18 Melpomene. Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Physical Parameter Value Relative to Earth
Diameter 140.57 km 0.0110
Sideral Rotation 11.5700 hours 0.4834
Absolute Magnitude 6.51
Geometric Albedo 0.2225

Asteroid 18 Melpomene 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Asteroid 18 Melpomene computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Asteroid 18 Melpomene in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2024 Feb 17 03h 41m 26s +08° 59’ 04” 10.48 Taurus
2024 Feb 18 03h 42m 57s +09° 10’ 05” 10.50 Taurus
2024 Feb 19 03h 44m 30s +09° 21’ 02” 10.52 Taurus
2024 Feb 20 03h 46m 03s +09° 31’ 55” 10.53 Taurus
2024 Feb 21 03h 47m 35s +09° 42’ 42” 10.55 Taurus
2024 Feb 22 03h 49m 09s +09° 53’ 26” 10.56 Taurus
2024 Feb 23 03h 50m 44s +10° 04’ 05” 10.58 Taurus
2024 Feb 24 03h 52m 21s +10° 14’ 39” 10.60 Taurus
2024 Feb 25 03h 53m 57s +10° 25’ 08” 10.61 Taurus
2024 Feb 26 03h 55m 33s +10° 35’ 31” 10.63 Taurus
2024 Feb 27 03h 57m 11s +10° 45’ 51” 10.64 Taurus
2024 Feb 28 03h 58m 50s +10° 56’ 04” 10.66 Taurus
2024 Feb 29 04h 00m 29s +11° 06’ 14” 10.67 Taurus
2024 Mar 01 04h 02m 08s +11° 16’ 17” 10.69 Taurus