Your Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
Donate now! You'll help cover server costs, enhance the site and keep it ad-free.
public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 4:44  
clear_day Transit: 12:57  
SunsetSet: 21:11 south
sunny DaytimeWhat's Visible Now
Dwarf Planets and Asteroids » 

Asteroid 18 Melpomene

Altitude: 10.2°   Azimuth: 260.0°   Direction: West

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 Cetus. The current Right Ascension of Asteroid 18 Melpomene is 00h 28m 08s and the Declination is +01° 51’ 36” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current magnitude of Asteroid 18 Melpomene is 10.57 (JPL).

00h 28m 08s
+01° 51’ 36”

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: 88.2°
Max altitude: 40.4°
Azimuth: 271.9°
  • 18 Melpomene is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Right now it is placed in the West direction at an altitude of 10° above the horizon.
  • 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

Below we provide Asteroid 18 Melpomene finder charts showing where the object is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars. The first finder chart has a field of view of 50 degrees, while the second one has a field of view of 10 degrees. Click on each finder chart to access a full screen interactive Online Planetarium.

Finder chart of 18 Melpomene in Cetus on June,08 2023
Map showing Asteroid 18 Melpomene in Cetus on June, 08 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of 18 Melpomene
Map showing Asteroid 18 Melpomene in Cetus on June, 08 2023
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: 00h 28m 08s
Dec: +01° 51’ 36”
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 294,382,461 kilometers, equivalent to 1.967825 Astronomical Units. Light takes 16 minutes and 21.9542 seconds to travel from Asteroid 18 Melpomene and arrive to us.

16 minutes and 21.9542 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

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
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
2023 Jun 01 00h 12m 30s +00° 45’ 24” 10.65 Pisces
2023 Jun 02 00h 14m 35s +00° 54’ 25” 10.64 Pisces
2023 Jun 03 00h 16m 41s +01° 03’ 24” 10.63 Pisces
2023 Jun 04 00h 18m 46s +01° 12’ 18” 10.62 Pisces
2023 Jun 05 00h 20m 50s +01° 21’ 07” 10.61 Pisces
2023 Jun 06 00h 22m 54s +01° 29’ 54” 10.60 Pisces
2023 Jun 07 00h 25m 00s +01° 38’ 36” 10.59 Pisces
2023 Jun 08 00h 27m 05s +01° 47’ 13” 10.58 Cetus
2023 Jun 09 00h 29m 08s +01° 55’ 47” 10.57 Cetus
2023 Jun 10 00h 31m 14s +02° 04’ 15” 10.56 Cetus
2023 Jun 11 00h 33m 18s +02° 12’ 39” 10.55 Cetus
2023 Jun 12 00h 35m 21s +02° 20’ 58” 10.54 Cetus
2023 Jun 13 00h 37m 26s +02° 29’ 12” 10.52 Cetus
2023 Jun 14 00h 39m 29s +02° 37’ 22” 10.51 Cetus