Astronomers rediscover long-lost asteroid | Science News


Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


Astronomers rediscover long-lost asteroid

4:19pm, November 1, 2002

For 89 years, astronomers have played a cosmic version of Where's Waldo? Now, the game is over.

Scientists have rediscovered a near-Earth asteroid called 719 Albert, observed several times in 1911 but not seen since. Its number indicates that Albert was the 719th asteroid to have its orbit determined, a bookkeeping convention that began in 1801 with Ceres, the first asteroid identified. With Albert's rediscovery, scientists finally know the whereabouts of all 14,788 numbered asteroids.

Johann Palisa at the Imperial Observatory in Vienna spotted Albert on Oct. 3, 1911. He and other astronomers also imaged it the following night.

Astronomers soon realized that they had unwittingly photographed the rock in severa

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content