Asteroid (3200) Phaethon imaged on 25 Dec 2010 with the 37 cm F14 Cassegrain telescope of Winer Observatory, Sonoita (MPC 857) by Marco Langbroek.
|Discovered by||Simon Green and
John K. Davies/IRAS
|Discovery date||October 11, 1983|
|Alternative names||1983 TB|
|Minor planet category||Apollo asteroid,
|Epoch July 14, 2004 (JD 2453200.5)|
|Aphelion||2.403 AU (359.456 Gm)|
|Perihelion||0.140 AU (20.922 Gm)|
|Semi-major axis||1.271 AU (190.189 Gm)|
|Orbital period||1.43 a (523.586 d)|
|Average orbital speed||19.98 km/s|
|Longitude of ascending node||265.427°|
|Argument of perihelion||321.978°|
|Mean density||2 ? g/cm³|
|Equatorial surface gravity||0.0014 m/s²|
|Escape velocity||0.0027 km/s|
|Rotation period||3.604 hr|
|Spectral type||B-type asteroid|
|Absolute magnitude (H)||14.6|
Simon F. Green and John K. Davies, while searching Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) data for moving objects, found 3200 Phaethon (1983 TB) in pictures from October 11, 1983. It was announced on October 14 in IAUC 3878 along with optical confirmation by Charles T. Kowal, who reported that it looks like an asteroid. It was the first asteroid to be found by a spacecraft. It measures 5.10 km in diameter.
Phaethon approaches the Sun closer than any other numbered asteroid. Its perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) is only 0.140 AU – less than half Mercury's perihelion distance. It is a Mercury-, Venus-, Earth- and Mars-crosser. The surface temperature at perihelion could reach ~1025 K, or 1400 F. For this reason, it was named after the Greek myth of Phaëton, son of the sun god Helios.
Sources[change | edit source]
- "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 3200 Phaethon (1983 TB)". Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 2012-02-25 last obs. http://ssd.jpl.nasa.gov/sbdb.cgi?sstr=3200. Retrieved 2012-06-19.