46 Hestia

The name of this minor planet, according to the Dictionary of Minor Planets [1], has dual referents. It refers to the Greek goddess of the hearth, eldest child of Cronus and Rhea, protector of the home and keeper of the eternal flame. It also refers to one of the less common of the Hesperides, as attested by Apianus, nymphs of the evening who lived in a garden on the western edge of the world and protected the golden apples of immortality, and daughters of Atlas and Hesperis (from which the referent of 69 Hesperia is derived.)

The symbol for this minor planet combines those two figures: it is a tall broad hearth, as in a variant symbol for the asteroid of the Roman counterpart Vesta, with an apple rising from behind it with a solar dot in the center.

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[1] Lutz D. Schmadel, "Dictionary of Minor Planets," 5th edition, https://link.springer.com/referenceworkentry/10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_47


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