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Astron. Astrophys. 340, L1-L4 (1998)


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Letter to the Editor

An estimation of the mass of asteroid 20-Massalia derived from the Hipparcos minor planets data *

Jeff Bange

Bureau des longitudes, URA CNRS 707, 77 avenue Denfert-Rochereau, F-75014 Paris, France (e-mail: bange@bdl.fr)

Received 28 May 1998 / Accepted 13 October 1998

Abstract

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 [FORMULA] 0.41 10-12 [FORMULA]) is closely dependent on the value assigned to the mass of Vesta.

Key words: Hipparcos – asteroids – astrometry

* Based on data from the Hipparcos astrometry satellite.

Send offprint requests to: Jeff Bange

© European Southern Observatory (ESO) 1998

Online publication: November 3, 1998

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