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List of noteworthy asteroids
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List of noteworthy asteroids

The following is a list of noteworthy asteroids in our Solar system. For a more complete list of asteroids in sequential numerical order, see List of asteroids.

Note: each asteroid is given a unique sequential identifying number after its orbit is precisely determined. Prior to this, asteroids are known only by their systematic name or provisional designation, such as "1950 DA").

Table of contents
1 Largest known asteroids within Jupiter's orbit
2 Other noteworthy asteroids
3 Asteroids that share the same names as moons
4 Numbered asteroids that are also comets
5 Asteroids that were misnamed and renamed
6 Record-setting close approaches by asteroids to Earth
7 Exceptionally slow-rotating objects
8 Related topics
9 External links
10 Books

Largest known asteroids within Jupiter's orbit

Number Name Diameter (km) Mean Distance
from Sun (in AU)
Date Discovered Discoverer
1 Ceres 1003 2.766 January 1 1801 Piazzi, G
2 Pallas 608 2.773 March 28 1802 Olbers, H. W
4 Vesta 538 2.361 March 29 1807 Olbers, H. W
10 Hygiea 450 3.136 April 12 1849 de Gasparis, A
31 Euphrosyne 370 3.148 September 1 1854 Ferguson, J
704 Interamnia 350 3.067 October 2 1910 Cerulli, V
511 Davida 323 3.170 May 30 1903 Dugan, R. S
65 Cybele 309 3.437 March 8 1861 Tempel, E. W
52 Europa 289 3.099 February 4 1858 Goldschmidt, H
624 Hektor 283 5.203 February 10 1907 Kopff, A
451 Patientia 276 3.060 December 4 1899 Charlois, A
15 Eunomia 272 2.644 July 29 1851 de Gasparis, A
16 Psyche 250 2.919 March 17 1851 de Gasparis, A
48 Doris 250 3.109 September 19 1857 Goldschmidt, H
92 Undina 250 3.189 July 7 1867 Peters, C. H. F
324 Bamberga 246 2.682 February 25 1892 Palisa, J
3 Juno 240 2.667 September 1 1804 Harding, K. L
24 Themis 234 3.129 April 5 1853 de Gasparis, A
95 Arethusa 230 3.073 November 23 1867 Luther, R

Other noteworthy asteroids

Number Name Diameter (km) Year Discovered Comment
5 Astraea 117 December 8 1845 First asteroid discovered in 38 years after original four
90 Antiope 80 + 80 October 1 1866 Double asteroid with two nearly equal components; its double nature was discovered using adaptive optics
139 Juewa 162 October 10 1874 First asteroid discovered in China, by James Craig Watson. The name was chosen by Chinese officials: 瑞華, or in modern pinyin, ruìhuá
243 Ida 56 × 24 × 21 September 29 1884 Visited by Galileo probe
  Dactyl 1.4 1991 Moon of 243 Ida
253 Mathilde 66 × 48 × 46 November 12 1885 Visited by NEAR Shoemaker
288 Glauke February 20 1890 Exceptionally slow rotation period of about 1200 hours (2 months)
323 Brucia December 22 1891 First asteroid discovered by means of astrophotography rather than visual observation
433 Eros 13 × 13 × 33 August 13 1898 Visited by NEAR Shoemaker
624 Hektor 370 × 195 February 10 1907 Largest Jovian Trojan asteroid discovered
944 Hidalgo October 31 1920 Longest orbital period of any asteroid in the main asteroid belt
951 Gaspra 19 × 12 × 11 July 30 1916 Visited by Galileo probe
1566 Icarus June 27 1949 Apollo class asteroid; perihelion is closer to the Sun than Mercury
1620 Geographos September 14 1951 Apollo class asteroid
2060 Chiron 170 October 18 1977 First Centaur to be discovered
2063 Bacchus April 24 1977
3753 Cruithne 5 October 10 1986 Unusual Earth-associated orbit
4179 Toutatis 4.5 × 2.4 × 1.9 January 4 1989 Will approach Earth closely in 2004
4769 Castalia 1.8 × 0.8 August 9 1989 First asteroid to be imaged
5261 Eureka June 20 1990 First Martian Trojan asteroid (L5 point) discovered
(not yet officially recognized as such)
29075 1950DA 1.1 February 23 1950 Will approach Earth very closely in 2880
  1997 XR2 1997 Only asteroid to rank greater than zero on the impact-risk Torino scale (it's ranked 1)
  1998 KY26 0.030 June 2 1998 Approached within 800,000km of Earth
  2001 QR322 January 2003 First known Neptune Trojan asteroid
  2002 AA29 0.1 January 9 2002 Unusual Earth-associated orbit
  2004 FH 0.030 2004 Discovered before it approached within 43,000km of Earth on 2004-03-18.
  2004 JG6 0.5-1 May 10 2004 Six-month orbital period is second shortest, second only to Mercury

Asteroids that share the same names as moons

Number Name Namesake Moon of
9 Metis Metis Jupiter
38 Leda Leda Jupiter
52 Europa Europa Jupiter
55 Pandora Pandora Saturn
74 Galatea Galatea Neptune
85 Io Io Jupiter
106 Dione Dione Saturn
113 Amalthea Amalthea Jupiter
171 Ophelia Ophelia Uranus
218 Bianca Bianca Uranus
239 Adrastea Adrastea Jupiter
577 Rhea Rhea Saturn
593 Titania Titania Uranus
666 Desdemona Desdemona Uranus
1162 Larissa Larissa Neptune
1809 Prometheus Prometheus Saturn
1810 Epimetheus Epimetheus Saturn
2758 Cordelia Cordelia Uranus
4450 Pan Pan Saturn

Numbered asteroids that are also comets

Number Name Cometary name Comment
2060 Chiron 95P/Chiron Discovered in 1977 as the first Centaur asteroid, later found to display cometary behavior (including a coma)
4015 Wilson-Harrington 107P/Wilson-Harrington In 1992, it was realized that asteroid 1979VA's orbit matched it with the positions of the lost comet Wilson-Harrington (1949 III)
7968 Elst-Pizarro 133P/Elst-Pizarro Discovered in 1996 as a comet, but orbitally matched to asteroid 1979 OW7

Note there are a quite a few other cases where a non-numbered asteroid with only a systematic designation (such as 2001 OG108) turned out to be a comet. The above table lists only numbered asteroids that are also comets.

Asteroids that were misnamed and renamed

In earlier times, before the modern numbering and naming rules were in effect, asteroids were sometimes given numbers and names before their orbits were precisely known. And in a few cases duplicate names were given to the same object (with modern use of computers to calculate and compare orbits with old recorded positions, this type of error no longer occurs). This led to a few cases where asteroids had to be renamed. [1]

Record-setting close approaches by asteroids to Earth

Only asteroids that break a previous record are included. Note that near-earth object detection technology drastically improved around the turn of the century, so objects being detected today (in 2004) would have been missed only a decade earlier.

Distance
(AU)
Distance
Mm
Date of
closest approach
Object
0.00004 6 radius of Earth
0.00033 49 2004 March 18 2004 FH
0.00056 84 2003 September 27 2003 SQ222
0.00072 108 1994 December 9 1994 XM1
0.00099 148 1993 May 20 1993 KA2
0.00114 171 1991 January 18 1991 BA
0.00257 386 average distance of the Moon
0.00457 684 1989 March 22 4581 Asclepius
0.00495 741 1937 October 30 69230 Hermes

See also: Closest Approaches to the Earth by Minor Planets

Exceptionally slow-rotating objects

Rotation periods have been determined for only a small fraction of asteroids (from light curves or from radar studies). Most asteroids have rotation periods of less than 24 hours; however, 288 Glauke has a rotation period of about 50 days.

Name Rotation
period
(hours)
288 Glauke 1200.
1220 Crocus 737.
253 Mathilde 417.7
1998 QR52 234.
3691 Bede 226.8
9969 Braille 226.4
(38071) 1999 GU3 216.
(65407) 2002 RP120 200.

See also: Minor Planet Lightcurve Parameters

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