(101429) 1998 VF31

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(101429) 1998 VF31
Discovered by LINEAR
Discovery site Socorro, New Mexico
Discovery date November 13, 1998
Minor planet category Martian L5 Martian L5
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 2455200.5
Aphelion 1.6772711 AU
Perihelion 1.3710141 AU
Semi-major axis 1.5241426 AU
Eccentricity 0.1004686
Orbital period 687.2849216d
1.88 yr
1.00058445 Martian years
Mean anomaly 124.35751°
Inclination 31.29561°
Longitude of ascending node 229.08991°
Argument of perihelion 310.53337°
Physical characteristics
Spectral type S-type asteroid[2]
Absolute magnitude (H) 17.4

(101429) 1998 VF31 is a small asteroid that orbits near Mars's L5 Lagrangian point, on average trailing 60° behind it. Its orbit is highly stable, and was originally thought to be spectroscopically similar to 5261 Eureka, suggesting they may both be primordial Martian asteroids.[3]

Spectroscopic observations through 2007 indicate that it has a large proportion of metal and achondrites on its surface (either with or without a mesosiderite contribution); which could also indicate that the surface regolith has undergone space weathering. These observations also reveal differences in the spectra with 5261 Eureka, suggesting they may not be related to each other after all.[2]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "JPL Small-Body Database Browser". Retrieved December 3, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Rivkin, Andrew S.; Trilling, David E.; Thomas, Cristina A.; DeMeo, Francesca; Spahr, Timothy B.; Binzel, Richard P. (December 2007). "Composition of the L5 Mars Trojans: Neighbors, not Siblings". Icarus 192 (2): 434–441. arXiv:0709.1925. Bibcode:2007Icar..192..434R. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2007.06.026. 
  3. ^ Rivkin, Andrew. S.; Binzel, R. P.; Howell, E. S.; Bus, S. J.; Grier, J. A. (October 2003). "Spectroscopy and photometry of Mars Trojans". Icarus 165 (2): 349–354. Bibcode:2003Icar..165..349R. doi:10.1016/S0019-1035(03)00211-2. 

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