Scylla


Asteroid 155, Scylla, was discovered on November 8, 1875 by Johann Palisa at Pola, Croatia. It has a period of 4 years, 231 days and a diameter of 39.9 kilometers (24.8 miles).

It was named for the sea nymph turned human-eating monster Scylla in Greek mythology, daughter of the sea gods Phorcys and Ceto. Scylla either loved Poseidon and was changed into a monster by his jealous wife Amphitrite, or found herself in a love triangle with Glaucus and the sorceress Circe and was turned into a monster after Circe poisoned her bath water. In any case, after that, Scylla haunted the Straits of Messina between Sicily and the main part of Italy along with the whirlpool monster Charybdis; together, they were menaces to sailors passing through the straits. Scylla had six heads on long necks and, in The Odyssey, leaned out and grabbed men off Odysseus' ship as it passed by the cave where she lived to avoid the even more dangerous Charybdis.

Part of a fresco depicting Scylla by 16th-century Italian artist Alessandro Allori


The meaning of asteroid Scylla seems to be grabbed, "gobbled up," running a gauntlet, paying a high price, picking the lesser of two evils, predators, victimized by jealousy.


Go Back