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22 Kalliope

An asteroid of the Solar System's main asteroid belt, Kallope is composed of a loose conglomeration of smaller elements - a so-called 'rubble pile' - creating an irregular body that runs for more than two hundred kilometres along its longest axis.

The asteroid Kalliope takes its name from Callope, one of the Greek muses, specifically the muse of epic poetry. The mythological Calliope had several sons, and is perhaps most famous as the mother of Orpheus. From the point of view of asteroid Kalliope, the most significant of these sons was Linus, who gives his name to Kalliope's single moon.

There are several hundred asteroids that are known to have moons, of which Kalliope is one of the largest. Its moon Linus is substantial compared to Kalliope itself, with a diameter of about 28 km. Indeed, Linus is the largest known moon of any asteroid (the largest, that is, disregarding the special cases of the binary asteroids Antiope and Hermione). Linus orbits Kalliope at a distance of more than 1,000 km, completing a circuit around the asteroid in a little over three and a half days.


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