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Letter to the Editor
An estimation of the mass of asteroid 20-Massalia derived from the Hipparcos minor planets data *
Received 28 May 1998 / Accepted 13 October 1998
The ESA astrometry satellite Hipparcos has observed a set of 48 minor planets between 1989 and 1993. A close encounter between 20-Massalia and 44-Nysa, both planets observed by Hipparcos, enabled us to obtain a value for the mass of 20-Massalia. Due to another close approach with the large asteroid 4-Vesta, the value we obtained (2.42 0.41 10-12 ) is closely dependent on the value assigned to the mass of Vesta.
Key words: Hipparcos asteroids astrometry
Send offprint requests to: Jeff Bange
Online publication: November 3, 1998