Damocles

1991 DA. Discovered 1991 Feb. 18 by R. H. McNaught at Siding Spring.

Legend has it that Damocles, a courtier of the tyrant Dionysius the Elder of Syracuse, was invited to a feast, where he was seated below a sword suspended by a thread. Intended to demonstrate the impermanence of power, the 'sword of Damocles' has become a symbol of impending disaster. This minor planet, in an unusual orbit of very high eccentricity and inclination and crossing the orbits of Mars to Uranus, could itself be seen as such a sword during periods of its orbital evolution when it becomes an Earth crosser. (M 22508)

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