Astraea, asteroid 5 (the 5th asteroid to be discovered, on December 8, 1845, by the German amateur astronomer Karl Ludwig Hencke), is approximately 120 kilometers in diameter and has an orbital period of 4.1 years. Astraea was named after the Roman goddess of justice (the familiar blindfolded goddess who holds the scales of justice in one hand and a sword in the other), viewed as the Roman form of the Greek Dike. According to Martha Lang-Wescott, Astraea indicates where people have difficulty letting go of relationships and situations, as well as a sense of "loose ends" afterward. This asteroid's key words are "open-ended" and "witness." Jacob Schwartz gives the astrological significance of this asteroid as "problems with closure, difficulties setting limits." According to Barry McKenna, Astraea represents the most important individual needs, for which one must take exceptional personal responsibility. At the same time, it is easy for the needs indicated by this asteroid to be set aside because of other needs and external influences.


Lang-Wescott, Martha. Asteroids-Mechanics: Ephemerides II. Conway, MA: Treehouse Mountain, 1990.

McKenna, Barry. The Astraea Minor Planet Ephemeris. Newtonville, MA: Astraea Publications, 1991.

Schwartz, Jacob. Asteroid Name Encyclopedia. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1995.

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