1221 Amor

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1221 Amor
Discovered by Eugène Joseph Delporte
Discovery date March 12, 1932
Alternative names 1932 EA1
Minor planet category Amor II asteroid,
Mars-crosser asteroid
Orbital characteristics
Epoch July 14, 2004 (JD 2453200.5)
Aphelion 2.754 AU (412.011 Gm)
Perihelion 1.086 AU (162.403 Gm)
Semi-major axis 1.920 AU (287.207 Gm)
Eccentricity 0.435
Orbital period 2.66 a (971.635 d)
Average orbital speed 20.44 km/s
Mean anomaly 49.408°
Inclination 11.879°
Longitude of ascending node 171.418°
Argument of perihelion 26.436°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 1.5? km
Mass 3.5×1012 kg
Mean density 2? g/cm³
Equatorial surface gravity 0.000 42 m/s²
Escape velocity 0.000 79 km/s
Albedo 0.15?
Temperature ~198 K
Spectral type C or S?
Absolute magnitude (H) 17.7
Orbit of 1221 on 1932-03-12: yellow - Sun, green - Earth, red -Mars, light blue - 1221 Amor, dark blue - Jupiter

1221 Amor is the namesake of the Amor asteroids, a group of near-Earth asteroids whose orbits range between those of Earth and Mars. Amors are often Mars-crossers but they are not Earth-crossers.

Eugène Joseph Delporte photographed Amor as it approached Earth to within 16 million kilometers (about 40 times the distance from Earth to the moon); this was the first time that an asteroid was seen to approach Earth so closely. A month later, 1862 Apollo was seen to cross Earth's orbit, and the scientific community suddenly realised the potential threat these flying mountains presented.

Amor is named after the Roman god of love, better known as Cupid. See also 763 Cupido and 433 Eros, which is named after Cupid's Greek counterpart. Coincidentally, 433 Eros, like 1221 Amor, makes close approaches to Earth. It is a Mars-crosser as well.

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