A three-dimensional model of 1620 Geographos based on its light curve.
|Discovered by||Albert George Wilson, Rudolph Minkowski|
|Discovery date||September 14, 1951|
|National Geographic Society|
|Minor planet category||Apollo, Mars-crosser|
|Epoch March 6, 2006 (JD 2453800.5)|
|Aphelion||248.810 Gm (1.663 AU)|
|Perihelion||123.817 Gm (0.828 AU)|
|186.314 Gm (1.245 AU)|
|507.665 d(1.39 a)|
Average orbital speed
|0.217 d (5.223 h)|
The asteroid 1620 Geographos // was discovered on September 14, 1951 at the Palomar Observatory by Albert George Wilson and Rudolph Minkowski. It was originally given the provisional designation 1951 RA. Its name, a Greek word meaning "geographer" (geo– 'Earth' + graphos 'drawer/writer'), was chosen to honour geographers and the National Geographic Society.
Geographos is a Mars-crosser asteroid and a near-Earth object belonging to the Apollos. In 1994, during the asteroid's closest approach to Earth in two centuries at 5.0 Gm-which will not be bettered until 2586- a radar study of it was conducted by the Deep Space Network at Goldstone, California. The resultant images show Geographos to be the most elongated object in the solar system; it measures 5.1×1.8 km.
Geographos was to be explored by the U.S.'s Clementine mission; however, a malfunctioning thruster ended the mission before it could approach the asteroid.
- "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1620 Geographos (1951 RA)". Retrieved 2008-02-05.
- Orbital simulation from JPL (Java) / Horizons Ephemeris
- NASA Asteroid Radar Research - Radar-Detected Asteroids: 1620 Geographos
- Large amplitude fast rotator (Yahoo Groups)