50000 Quaoar

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50000 Quaoar 🝾
Quaoar and its moon Weywot, imaged by the Hubble Space Telescope
Discovered byChad Trujillo, Michael Brown
Discovery date2002 Jun 05 10:48:08 PDT on an image taken 2002 June 04 05:41:40 UT
2002 LM60
Orbital characteristics[4]
Epoch May 18, 2008 (JD 2 454 600.5)
Aphelion6.716 275 Tm (45.286 AU)
Perihelion6.270 316 Tm (41.928 AU)
6.493 296 Tm (43.607 AU)
Eccentricity0.038 4
105 181.6 d (287.97 a)
4.52 km/s
Physical characteristics
Dimensions1260 ± 190 km (direct)[5]
km (thermal)[6]
Mass(1.0–2.6)×1021 kg
Mean density
2.0? g/cm³
Equatorial surface gravity
0.276–0.376 m/s²
Equatorial escape velocity
0.523–0.712 km/s
0.088 +0.021
0.198 6 +0.13
Temperature~43 K
(moderately red) B-V=0.94, V-R=0.65

50000 Quaoar (symbol: 🝾) is a Trans-Neptunian object and is also a dwarf planet. It was discovered on June 4, 2002 by Chad Trujillo and Michael Brown at the California Institute of Technology.

Quaoar has one known moon, named Weywot. It also has a ring. Unexpectedly, the ring is at twice the distance of the Roche limit, which was thought to be the maximum distance of a ring: beyond the Roche limit, the particles in a ring should clump together and form a moon; yet this has not happened to Quaoar's ring. It is thought that the particles do not clump together because of tides created by Weywot. There may also be small shepherd moons on either side of the ring, as there are at Saturn's F Ring.

Quaoar, its rings (grey), and the orbit of Weywot (red). The Roche limit is yellow. Purple is an orbit with 1/6 the period of Weywot. Blue is an orbit 1/3 the period of Quaoar's rotation. The outer ring appears to be confined between the blue and purple.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Frequently Asked Questions About Quaoar". Archived from the original on 2010-01-17. Retrieved 2009-02-19.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  2. Buie, Marc W. (2006-05-17). "Orbit Fit and Astrometric record for 50000". SwRI (Space Science Department). Retrieved 2008-09-19.
  3. Marsden, Brian G. (2008-07-17). "MPEC 2008-O05 : Distant Minor Planets (2008 Aug. 2.0 TT)". IAU Minor Planet Center. Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. Archived from the original on 2012-04-09. Retrieved 2008-10-01.
  4. "Asteroid Data Services by Lowell Observatory". Archived from the original on 2007-06-21. Retrieved 2020-09-14.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Brown, Michael E. and Chadwick A. Trujillo (2004). "Direct Measurement of the Size of the Large Kuiper Belt Object (50000) Quaoar". The Astronomical Journal. 127 (7018): 2413–2417. doi:10.1086/382513. S2CID 1877283. Archived from the original on 2022-05-17. Retrieved 2022-02-22. Reprint on Brown's site (pdf)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Stansberry J., Grundy W., Brown M, Cruikshank D., Spencer J., Trilling D., Margot J-L Physical Properties of Kuiper Belt and Centaur Objects: Constraints from Spitzer Space Telescope To Appear in: Kuiper Belt (M.A. Barucci et al., Eds.) U. Arizona Press, 2007 Preprint

Other websites[change | change source]