2001 QW322

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2001 QW322 is a binary minor planet and cubewano in the Kuiper belt. The object was discovered at Mauna Kea on July 27, 2001 by JJ Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, B. Gladman, and M. Holman. J. Kavelaars later in 2001 discovered that it is a binary. The components are estimated at about 130 km in diameter. It has been nicknamed Antipholus and Antipholus after twins in Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.[1]

In 2008, work was published showing that the binary has an extraordinarily long orbital period (for a binary trans-Neptunian object, asteroid or minor planet) of some 25–30 years.[2] The orbital radius is also remarkably high (105,000 to 135,000 km) while the eccentricity is unusually low (<0.4). All of these parameters are in the extremes of their normal ranges for such objects. The wide spacing and low eccentricity conspire to make the system prone to disruption, and its lifetime is estimated to be in the order of another billion years.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ Petit, J.-M.; Kavelaars, J. J.; Gladman, B. J.; Margot, J. L.; Nicholson, P. D.; Jones, R. L.; Parker, J. Wm.; Ashby, M. L. N.; Bagatin, A. C.; = Benavidez, P.; Coffey, J.; Rousselot, P.; Mousis, O.; Taylor, P. A. (2008). "The Extreme Kuiper Belt Binary 2001 QW322". Science 322 (5900): 432–4. Bibcode:2008Sci...322..432P. doi:10.1126/science.1163148. PMID 18927391. 

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