(15874) 1996 TL66

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(15874) 1996 TL66
Discovered by David C. Jewitt,
Jane X. Luu,
Jun Chen,
C. A. Trujillo
Discovery date October 9, 1996
MPC designation (15874) 1996 TL66
Scattered disc[2][3]
Orbital characteristics[4]
Epoch January 4, 2010 (JD 2455200.5)
Aphelion 132.87 AU
(19877 Gm)
Perihelion 35.010 AU
(5237 Gm)
83.944 AU
(12557 Gm)
Eccentricity 0.58292
769.12 yr
2.98 km/s
Inclination 23.965°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 339±20 km[5]
575±115 km[6]
Albedo 0.110+0.021
Temperature ≈31 K

(15874) 1996 TL66 (also written (15874) 1996 TL66) is a trans-Neptunian object (TNO) that resides in the scattered disc. The Spitzer Space Telescope has estimated this object to be about 575 kilometres (357 mi) in diameter,[6] but 2012 estimates from the Herschel Space Observatory estimate the diameter as closer to 339 kilometres (211 mi).[5] It is not a detached object, since its perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) is under the influence of Neptune.[3] Light-curve-amplitude analysis suggests it is a spheroid.[8] Tancredi presents "in the form of a decision tree, the set of questions to be considered in order to classify an object as an icy 'dwarf planet'." They find that 1996 TL66 is very probably a dwarf planet.[9] Mike Brown's website, using a radiometrically determined diameter of 344 kilometres (214 mi), lists it as a possible dwarf planet.[10]


Discovered in 1996 by David C. Jewitt et al., it was the first object to be categorized as a scattered-disk object (SDO), although (48639) 1995 TL8, discovered a year earlier, was later recognised as a scattered-disk object. It was one of the largest known trans-Neptunian objects at the time of the discovery. It came to perihelion in 2001.[4]

Orbit and size[edit]

1996 TL66's orbit

1996 TL66 orbits the Sun with a semi-major axis of 83.9 AU[4] but is currently only 35 AU from the Sun with an apparent magnitude of 21.[7] In 2007, the Spitzer Space Telescope estimated it to have a low albedo with a diameter of about 575±115 km.[6] More-recent measurements in 2012 by the 'TNOs are Cool' research project and reanalysis of older data have resulted in a new estimate of these figures.[5] It is now assumed that it has a higher albedo and the diameter was revised downward to 339±20 km. Light-curve-amplitude analysis shows only small deviations, suggesting 1996 TL66 is a spheroid with small albedo spots and may be a dwarf planet.[8]


  1. ^ "MPEC 1997-B18: 1996 TL66". Minor Planet Center. 1997-01-30. Retrieved 2011-07-05. 
  2. ^ "List Of Centaurs and Scattered-Disk Objects". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  3. ^ a b Marc W. Buie (2006-07-30). "Orbit Fit and Astrometric record for 15874". SwRI (Space Science Department). Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  4. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 15874 (1996 TL66)" (2006-07-30 last obs). Retrieved 2009-01-22. 
  5. ^ a b c d Santos-Sanz, P., Lellouch, E., Fornasier, S., Kiss, C., Pal, A., Müller, T. G., Vilenius, E., Stansberry, J., Mommert, M., Delsanti, A., Mueller, M., Peixinho, N., Henry, F., Ortiz, J. L., Thirouin, A., Protopapa, S., Duffard, R., Szalai, N., Lim, T., Ejeta, C., Hartogh, P., Harris, A. W., & Rengel, M. (2012). “TNOs are Cool”: A Survey of the Transneptunian Region IV - Size/albedo characterization of 15 scattered disk and detached objects observed with Herschel Space Observatory-PACS
  6. ^ a b c d John Stansberry, Will Grundy, Mike Brown, Dale Cruikshank, John Spencer, David Trilling, Jean-Luc Margot (2007). "Physical Properties of Kuiper Belt and Centaur Objects: Constraints from Spitzer Space Telescope". arXiv:astro-ph/0702538 [astro-ph]. 
  7. ^ a b "AstDys (15874) 1996TL66 Ephemerides". Department of Mathematics, University of Pisa, Italy. Retrieved 2010-02-10. 
  8. ^ a b Tancredi, G., & Favre, S. (2008) Which are the dwarfs in the Solar System?. Depto. Astronomía, Fac. Ciencias, Montevideo, Uruguay; Observatorio Astronómico Los Molinos, MEC, Uruguay. Retrieved 10-08-2011
  9. ^ Tancredi, G. (2010). "Physical and dynamical characteristics of icy "dwarf planets" (plutoids)". Icy Bodies of the Solar System: Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 263, 2009. 
  10. ^ Michael E. Brown. "How many dwarf planets are there in the outer solar system? (updates daily)". California Institute of Technology. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 

External links[edit]