Fr.: famille d'astéroïde
A group of asteroids that share the same or similar proper orbital elements (semi-major axis, eccentricity, inclination). In 1918, the Japanese astronomer K. Hirayama first recognized some non random concentrations of asteroid elements. He noticed that certain "groups" of asteroids had similar orbital elements, and hence he first introduced the concept of "asteroid families," and identified three of them: Koronos, Eos, and Themis. The names of these groups were chosen by the parent (brightest) asteroid that the smaller group asteroids follow. Some of the more common asteroid families include the Trojans, which are actually not an asteroid family, but a group of asteroids caught in the Sun-Jupiter gravitational equilibrium points known as L3 and L4 → Lagrangian points.