Asteroid 161989, Cacus, an Apollo asteroid, was discovered on February 8, 1978 by Hans-Emil Schuster at the European Southern Observatory. It has a period of 1 year, 69 days and is about 1 and 2/5 mile in diameter.

It was named for a monster in Greek mythology, Cacus, a son of Hephaestos (Vulcan) who stole cattle Heracles (Hercules) had acquired as the tenth of his epic Twelve Labors. Cacus tried to disguise his theft but Hercules found the cattle and him and strangled him at what later became the Forum Boarium, the cattle market in Rome.

Hercules and Cacus,a 1588 woodcut by the Dutch artist Hendrik Goltzius

Dante put Cacus in the pit of the Thieves in his Inferno, conceiving him as a centaur put there to punish the sinners of the round.

Astrologically, Cacus basically seems to mean what its name suggests: "crap," filth, trouble.

The glyph for Cacus is mine.

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