Last year, we had a series of three blogs dealing with the astronomical world of Harry Potter. Not only did we looked at how some of the characters in the Harry Potter series got their names from the Roman, Greek, & Norse mythologies, but how those mythologies played into the develop of their respective characters. If you missed it, we covered Draco, Luna, Dumbledore, Fenrir, Sirius and Bellatrix.
So, what about two of Harry Potter’s most trusted friends: Hermione and Ginny?
Hermione 121 is the name of a very large asteroid first discovered in 1872, while Ginny, whose full name is Ginevra Molly “Ginny” Weasley, shares her name with Ginevra 613—also a large asteroid.
The picture of Hermione 121 to the left is a three-dimensional model of the asteroid estimated by its light curve. Discovered by James Craig Watson, Hermione 121 orbits on the outer rim of the asteroid belt in what is known as the Cybele group, a group thought to be created from the breakup of a larger object in the distant past.
Ginevra 613 is a minor planet, aka asteroid, that orbits the sun and was first discovered by August Kopff in 1806.
Both of these orbit the Sun amongst the millions of other asteroids orbiting the sun.
How many asteroids are there?
If you only count the large asteroids over 100 meters, there are about 150 million asteroids orbiting within our solar system. If you count the smaller ones then the number gets much larger. Some are as large as 600 miles across while others are only a few feet across.
We cover this segment, as well as the previous installments, in the original production The Astronomical World of Harry Potter. Join us this February 5th for the first ever Far-Out First Friday where we’ll have a live presenter-led presentation of The Astronomical World of Harry Potter (7pm) as well as the Laser X rock show (8pm) and the return of Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon (9pm).
Visit www.lasm.org for more details.