39382 Opportunity

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Asteroid 39382 Opportunity (2696 P-L) was discovered on September 24, 1960, by Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld, Cornelis Johannes van Houten and Tom Gehrels. The asteroid was spotted by examining photographic plates taken by telescopes at the Palomar Observatory.

39382 Opportunity is part of a small group of asteroids that make up the Hilda group located between Mars and Jupiter. The asteroids share a 3:2 orbital resonance with Jupiter, meaning that for every 2 orbits Jupiter completes around the Sun, the asteroids will complete 3 orbits. It has a diameter of approximately 3–7 km (1.9–4.4 mi) and takes about 7.9 years to orbit the Sun. The asteroid's orbit does not cross the path of any of the planets and therefore it will not be pulled out of orbit by Jupiter's gravitational field. As a result of this, it is likely that the asteroid will remain in a stable orbit for thousands of years.

On October 11, 2004, following a proposal by van Houten-Groeneveld in 2002, it was named after the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity .

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