(308933) 2006 SQ372
|Discovered by||A. C. Becker,
A. W. Puckett,
|Discovery date||September 27, 2006|
|MPC designation||2006 SQ372|
|Minor planet category||Centaur (DES)|
|Epoch 2011-Feb-08 (2455600.5)|
|Aphelion||1570 AU (Q)[a]
(Heliocentric 2006 AU)
|Perihelion||24.178 AU (q)|
|Semi-major axis||796 AU (a)[a] (Heliocentric 1015 AU)|
|Orbital period||22,466 yr[a]
(Heliocentric 32,347 yr)
|Mean anomaly||0.04957° (M)|
|Longitude of ascending node||197.42°|
|Argument of perihelion||122.51°|
|Dimensions||60 - 140 km|
|Mass||~1.7 × 1018 kg|
|Absolute magnitude (H)||8.1|
(308933) 2006 SQ372 is a small trans-Neptunian object discovered through the Sloan Digital Sky Survey by Andrew Becker, Andrew W. Puckett, and Jeremy Martin Kubica on images first taken on September 27, 2006 (with precovery images dated to September 13, 2005).
It has a strongly eccentric orbit, crossing that of Neptune near perihelion but bringing it more than 1,500 AU from the Sun at aphelion. It takes about 22,500 years to orbit the barycenter of the Solar System. The large semi-major axis makes it similar to (87269) 2000 OO67 and 90377 Sedna. With an absolute magnitude (H) of 8.1, it is estimated to be about 60 to 140 km in diameter.
The object could possibly be a comet. The discoverers hypothesize that the object could come from the inner Oort cloud, but other scientists like California Institute of Technology's Michael E. Brown also consider other possibilities, as "it may have formed from debris just beyond Neptune [in the Kuiper belt] and been 'kicked' into its distant orbit by a planet like Neptune or Uranus".
More than half of the simulations of 2006 SQ372 show that it gets too close to either Uranus or Neptune within the next 180 million years sending it in a currently unknown direction. This makes it difficult to classify this object as only a centaur or a scattered disc object. The Minor Planet Center (MPC), which officially catalogues all trans-Neptunian objects, lists centaurs and SDOs together. (29981) 1999 TD10 is another such object that blurs the two categories.
Given the extreme orbital eccentricity of this object, different epochs can generate quite different heliocentric unperturbed two-body best-fit solutions to the aphelion distance (maximum distance) of this object.[b] With a 2005 epoch the object had an approximate period of about 22,000 years with aphelion at 1557 AU. But using a 2011 epoch shows a period of about 32,000 years with aphelion at 2006 AU. For objects at such high eccentricity, the Sun's barycentric coordinates are more stable than heliocentric coordinates. Using JPL Horizons with an observed orbital arc of only 2.9 years, the barycentric orbital elements for epoch 2008-May-14 generate a semi-major axis of 796 AU and a period of 22,466 years.
- "MPEC 2007-A27 : 2006 SQ372". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2007-01-08. Retrieved 2011-05-26.
- "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: (2006 SQ372)". 2010-09-17 last obs. Retrieved 2011-01-22.
- "List Of Centaurs and Scattered-Disk Objects". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
- Marc W. Buie (2010-09-17 using 63 of 65 observations). "Orbit Fit and Astrometric record for 308933". SwRI (Space Science Department). Retrieved 2008-09-05.
- Horizons output (2011-01-23). "Barycentric Osculating Orbital Elements for 2006 SQ372". Retrieved 2011-01-24. (Horizons)
- Kaib, Nathan A.; Becker, Andrew C.; Jones, R. Lynne; Puckett, Andrew W.; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Dilday, Benjamin; Frieman, Joshua A.; Oravetz, Daniel J.; Pan, Kaike; Quinn, Thomas; Schneider, Donald P.; Watters, Shannon (2009). 2006 SQ372: A Likely Long-Period Comet from the Inner Oort Cloud. arXiv:0901.1690. Bibcode:2009ApJ...695..268K. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/695/1/268.
- "Absolute Magnitude (H)". NASA/JPL. Archived from the original on 1 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- An Icy Wanderer from the Oort Cloud
- "First object seen from solar system's inner Oort cloud". New Scientist. 18 August 2008. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
- "New "Minor Planet" Found in Solar System". National Geographic News. 19 August 2008. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
- Dr Chris Lintott (25 August 2008). "Sky survey yields new cosmic haul". BBC. Archived from the original on 6 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
- Kenneth Silber (1999-11-11). "New Object in Solar System Defies Categories". Space.com. Retrieved 2008-09-07.
- "MPEC 2007-A27: 2006 SQ372". Minor Planet Electronic Circulars. 2007-01-08.
- (308933) 2006 SQ372 at the JPL Small-Body Database