Discovering the Wonders of Asteroid 3 Juno

3 Juno VLT
Asteroid 3 Juno by VLT. Credit: VSO Very Large Telescope SPHERE/ZIMPOL team. License: CC BY-SA 4.0.

Asteroid 3 Juno, located within the asteroid belt, has captivated astronomers for decades. Through an overview, we will discover the wonders of Juno and uncover the secrets it holds. Join us as we embark on a journey through space and delve into the mysteries of this remarkable asteroid.

Introduction to Asteroid 3 Juno

Asteroid 3 Juno is a fascinating space rock that has caught the attention of scientists and astronomers alike. This asteroid, located in the main asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, is one of the twenty largest asteroids in our solar system. Juno is a significant object that has piqued the curiosity of researchers due to its unique characteristics.

Largest 10 Asteroids
Sizes of the first ten Asteroids to be discovered compared to the Earth’s Moon, all to scale. The objects, left to right are: 1 dwarf planet Ceres, 2 Pallas, 3 Juno, 4 Vesta, 5 Astraea, 6 Hebe, 7 Iris, 8 Flora, 9 Metis, and 10 Hygiea.

The Discovery of Asteroid Juno

The discovery of Juno is an essential milestone in the history of astronomy. In 1804, German astronomer Karl Ludwig Harding spotted the asteroid for the first time, making it the third asteroid ever discovered after Ceres and Pallas. Harding named the asteroid Juno, after the Roman goddess of marriage and childbirth, wife of Jupiter, and queen of the gods. It was initially thought to be a planet, but was later reclassified as an asteroid.

Characteristics and Properties of Juno

Asteroid 3 Juno is a fascinating space rock that has been the subject of much scientific interest since its discovery. It is a large asteroid, with a mean diameter of approximately 246.6 km. Juno is a stony (S-type) asteroid and makes up about 1% the mass of the entire asteroid belt.

This celestial body has a very eccentric orbit, greater than that of Pluto. It orbits the Sun at 2.669 AU (semi-major axis) which takes 4.361 years to complete. (Source: NASA JPL Small-Body Database Lookup for 3 Juno.)

Asteroid 3 Juno Orbit
The orbit of Juno is significantly elliptical with a small inclination, moving between Mars and Jupiter. Credit: Tom Ruen. License: CC BY-SA 4.0.

This unusually bright asteroid has a high albedo, which explains its relatively high apparent magnitude and why it was discovered so early, before many larger asteroids.

It is also known to be irregularly shaped, with a somewhat elongated shape that suggests it may have undergone some kind of collision or disruption in the past. This, along with its small size, precludes it from being classified as a dwarf planet.


In summary, Asteroid 3 Juno has proven to be a fascinating space rock that has captivated the attention of scientists and astronomers alike. Despite its relatively small size, Juno has revealed a plethora of information about the formation and evolution of our solar system. Its unique physical characteristics and properties have sparked numerous scientific studies that have contributed to our understanding of our cosmic surroundings. As technology continues to advance, there is no doubt that we will unlock even more secrets surrounding this intriguing asteroid.

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Paul Tomaszewski is a science & tech writer as well as a programmer and entrepreneur. He is the founder and editor-in-chief of CosmoBC. He has a degree in computer science from John Abbott College, a bachelor's degree in technology from the Memorial University of Newfoundland, and completed some business and economics classes at Concordia University in Montreal. While in college he was the vice-president of the Astronomy Club. In his spare time he is an amateur astronomer and enjoys reading or watching science-fiction. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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