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List of asteroids
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List of asteroids

This is a list of numbered asteroids, in sequential order. As of June 2004 there were over 80,000 numbered asteroids (and many more not yet numbered).

Many asteroids are fairly ordinary and not particularly noteworthy. For a smaller list of "interesting" asteroids, see List of noteworthy asteroids.

Table of contents
1 List of asteroids
2 Numbering and naming conventions
3 Related topics
4 External links
5 Books

List of asteroids

The list is too long to fit on one page, see these subpages:

1-1000; 10001-11000; 20001-21000; 30001-31000; 40001-41000;
1001-2000; 11001-12000; 21001-22000; 31001-32000; 41001-42000;
2001-3000; 12001-13000; 22001-23000; 32001-33000; 42001-43000;
3001-4000; 13001-14000; 23001-24000; 33001-34000; 43001-44000;
4001-5000; 14001-15000; 24001-25000; 34001-35000; 44001-45000;
5001-6000; 15001-16000; 25001-26000; 35001-36000; 45001-46000;
6001-7000; 16001-17000; 26001-27000; 36001-37000; 46001-47000;
7001-8000; 17001-18000; 27001-28000; 37001-38000; 47001-48000;
8001-9000; 18001-19000; 28001-29000; 38001-39000; 48001-49000;
9001-10000; 19001-20000; 29001-30000; 39001-40000; 49001-50000;

50001-51000; 60001-61000; 70001-71000; 80001-81000;
51001-52000; 61001-62000; 71001-72000; 81001-82000;
52001-53000; 62001-63000; 72001-73000; 82001-83000;
53001-54000; 63001-64000; 73001-74000; 83001-84000;
54001-55000; 64001-65000; 74001-75000; 84001-85000;
55001-56000; 65001-66000; 75001-76000; 85001-86000;
56001-57000; 66001-67000; 76001-77000; 86001-87000
57001-58000; 67001-68000; 77001-78000; 87001-88000
58001-59000; 68001-69000; 78001-79000; 88001-89000
59001-60000; 69001-70000; 79001-80000; 89001-90000


Numbering and naming conventions

After discovery, asteroids generally receive a systematic name (such as "1989 AC"), then a number (such as 4179), and finally (optionally) a name (such as "Toutatis"), in that order.

In modern times, an asteroid receives a sequential number only after its orbit is precisely known. Asteroids whose orbits are not (yet) precisely known are known by their systematic name (see provisional designation). This rule was not necessarily followed in earlier times, and some asteroids received a number but were subsequently "lost". All of these have now been recovered; the last "lost" numbered asteroid was 719 Albert (although 1915 Quetzalcoatl and (3360) 1981 VA have not been seen since 1985 (see [1]), their orbits are known and close Earth approaches are due in 2062 and 2085 respectively).

For the reasons mentioned above, the sequence of numbers only approximately matches the timeline of discovery. In extreme cases, such as "lost" asteroids, there may be a considerable mismatch: for instance the high-numbered 69230 Hermes was originally discovered in 1937, but was lost until 2003. Only after it was recovered could its orbit be established and a number assigned. Before this, it was simply known as 1937 UB (its systematic name).

Only after a number is assigned is the asteroid is eligible to receive a name (for many years, Hermes was a rare exception, an unnumbered asteroid with a name). Usually the discoverer has up to 10 years to pick a name; some asteroids remain unnamed. Especially towards the end of the 20th century, with large-scale automated asteroid discovery programs such as LINEAR, the pace of discoveries has increased so much that it seems likely that the vast majority of "run of the mill" discoveries from now on will never receive names.

In rare cases, a very unusual object may receive an unofficial name before it is numbered. A recent example is Sedna, which officially only has the systematic name "2003 VB12" for the time being. After it is numbered, Sedna will be proposed as the official name and it is highly likely that it will be accepted.

Related topics

External links

Books

Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, 5th ed.: Prepared on Behalf of Commission 20 Under the Auspices of the International Astronomical Union,
Lutz D. Schmadel, ISBN 3540002383