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  1. Classical Mythology. a wise and beneficent centaur, teacher of Achilles, Asclepius, and others.
  2. Astronomy. an asteroid located between Saturn and Uranus, about 100 miles (160 km) in diameter: discovered in 1977.


  1. Greek myth a wise and kind centaur who taught many great heroes in their youth, including Achilles, Actaeon, and Jason
  2. a minor planet, discovered by Charles Kowal in 1977, revolving round the sun between the orbits of Saturn and Uranus

wisest of the centaurs, from Latin Chiron, from Greek Kheiron, of unknown origin; Klein compares Greek kheirourgos “surgeon.”

  1. A large cometlike body with an orbit mostly between Saturn and Uranus. Discovered in 1977, Chiron was originally identified as an asteroid, but it has since been reclassified as a Centaur. Like a comet, Chiron has been observed to display a nebulous coma in its closest approach to the Sun, but at approximately 200 km (124 mi) in diameter it is far larger than any other known comet. See more at Centaur.

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