1051 Merope

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1051 Merope
Discovery [1]
Discovered byK. Reinmuth
Discovery siteHeidelberg Obs.
Discovery date16 September 1925
MPC designation(1051) Merope
Pronunciation/ˈmɛrəpi/ MERR-ə-pee
Named after
(Greek mythology)
1925 SA · 1926 XA
1931 TM3 · 1936 OG
A908 TE
main-belt[1] · (outer)[3][4]
Orbital characteristics[3]
Epoch 23 March 2018 (JD 2458200.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc92.19 yr (33,673 d)
Aphelion3.5341 AU
Perihelion2.8948 AU
3.2144 AU
5.76 yr (2,105 d)
0° 10m 15.6s / day
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
60.439±0.146 km[6]
65.130±0.245 km[7]
67.11 km (derived)[4]
67.21±1.9 km[8]
69.22±21.30 km[9]
69.85±0.88 km[10]
74.36±28.24 km[11]
13.717±0.0164 h[12]
27.2±0.3 h[13]
0.0358 (derived)[4]
P[7] · C[14]
9.90[7][8][10] · 10.0[3]
10.051±0.001 (R)[12]
10.10[4][9] · 10.11[11]

1051 Merope (/ˈmɛrəpi/ MERR-ə-pee), provisional designation 1925 SA, is a dark Alauda asteroid from the outermost region of the asteroid belt, approximately 68 kilometers (42 miles) in diameter. It was discovered on 16 September 1925, by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth at the Heidelberg-Königstuhl State Observatory in Heidelberg, Germany,[1] who named it after the nymph Merope from Greek mythology.[2] The asteroid has a rotation period of 27.2 hours.[4]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Merope is a member of the Alauda family (902),[5] a large family of carbonaceous asteroids and named after its parent body, 702 Alauda.[15]:23

It orbits the Sun in the outermost asteroid belt at a distance of 2.9–3.5 AU once every 5 years and 9 months (2,105 days; semi-major axis of 3.21 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.10 and an inclination of 24° with respect to the ecliptic.[3]

The asteroid was first observed as A908 TE at Taunton Observatory (803) in October 1908. The body's observation arc begins at Heidelberg in October 1925, or three weeks after its official discovery observation.[1]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Merope has been characterized as a primitive P-type asteroid by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE),[7] and as a common carbonaceous C-type asteroid by Pan-STARRS' photometric survey.[14]

Rotation period[edit]

In March 2009, a rotational lightcurve of Merope was obtained from photometric observations by astronomers at the Oakley Southern Sky Observatory in Australia. Lightcurve analysis gave a rotation period of 27.2 hours with a brightness variation of 0.20 magnitude (U=2).[13] In October 2012, astronomers at the Palomar Transient Factory in California measured a period 13.717 hours with an amplitude of 0.11 magnitude in the R-band (U=2),[12] which seems to be an alternative period solution (1:2 alias) of what the Australian astronomers had previously measured. Previous observations by Gino Farroni and by Federico Manzini from 2004 and 2005, respectively, have been provisional and of poor quality (U=1/1).[4][16]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite IRAS, the Japanese Akari satellite and the NEOWISE mission of NASA's WISE telescope, Merope measures between 60.439 and 74.36 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.03 and 0.053.[6][7][8][9][10][11]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link derives an albedo of 0.0358 and a diameter of 67.11 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 10.1.[4]


This minor planet was named after the nymph Merope from Greek mythology. She is one of the seven Pleiades, daughters of the Titan Atlas and the sea-nymph Pleione (AN 229;297).[2] Merope is also a bright star in the constellation of Taurus and one of the brightest members of the Pleiades star cluster, also known as the "Seven Sister".


  1. ^ a b c d "1051 Merope (1925 SA)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(1051) Merope". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1051) Merope. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 90. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_1052. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1051 Merope (1925 SA)" (2017-11-25 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "LCDB Data for (1051) Merope". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Grav, T.; Mainzer, A. K.; Nugent, C. R.; Bauer, J. M.; Stevenson, R.; et al. (August 2014). "Main-belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE: Near-infrared Albedos". The Astrophysical Journal. 791 (2): 11. arXiv:1406.6645. Bibcode:2014ApJ...791..121M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/121.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.; Hand, E.; Bauer, J.; Tholen, D.; et al. (November 2011). "NEOWISE Studies of Spectrophotometrically Classified Asteroids: Preliminary Results". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90.
  8. ^ a b c d Tedesco, E. F.; Noah, P. V.; Noah, M.; Price, S. D. (October 2004). "IRAS Minor Planet Survey V6.0". NASA Planetary Data System: IRAS-A-FPA-3-RDR-IMPS-V6.0. Bibcode:2004PDSS...12.....T. Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  9. ^ a b c d Nugent, C. R.; Mainzer, A.; Masiero, J.; Bauer, J.; Cutri, R. M.; Grav, T.; et al. (December 2015). "NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year One: Preliminary Asteroid Diameters and Albedos". The Astrophysical Journal. 814 (2): 13. arXiv:1509.02522. Bibcode:2015ApJ...814..117N. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/814/2/117. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  10. ^ a b c d Usui, Fumihiko; Kuroda, Daisuke; Müller, Thomas G.; Hasegawa, Sunao; Ishiguro, Masateru; Ootsubo, Takafumi; et al. (October 2011). "Asteroid Catalog Using Akari: AKARI/IRC Mid-Infrared Asteroid Survey". Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan. 63 (5): 1117–1138. Bibcode:2011PASJ...63.1117U. doi:10.1093/pasj/63.5.1117. Retrieved 21 March 2018. Online catalog
  11. ^ a b c d Nugent, C. R.; Mainzer, A.; Bauer, J.; Cutri, R. M.; Kramer, E. A.; Grav, T.; et al. (September 2016). "NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year Two: Asteroid Diameters and Albedos". The Astronomical Journal. 152 (3): 12. arXiv:1606.08923. Bibcode:2016AJ....152...63N. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/3/63. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  12. ^ a b c Waszczak, Adam; Chang, Chan-Kao; Ofek, Eran O.; Laher, Russ; Masci, Frank; Levitan, David; et al. (September 2015). "Asteroid Light Curves from the Palomar Transient Factory Survey: Rotation Periods and Phase Functions from Sparse Photometry". The Astronomical Journal. 150 (3): 35. arXiv:1504.04041. Bibcode:2015AJ....150...75W. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/3/75. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  13. ^ a b Carbo, Landry; Green, Dawson; Kragh, Katherine; Krotz, Jonathan; Meiers, Andrew; Patino, Bernadette; et al. (October 2009). "Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at the Oakley Southern Sky Observatory: 2008 October thru 2009 March". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 36 (4): 152–157. Bibcode:2009MPBu...36..152C. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Veres, Peter; Jedicke, Robert; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Denneau, Larry; Granvik, Mikael; Bolin, Bryce; et al. (November 2015). "Absolute magnitudes and slope parameters for 250,000 asteroids observed by Pan-STARRS PS1 - Preliminary results". Icarus. 261: 34–47. arXiv:1506.00762. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  15. ^ Nesvorný, D.; Broz, M.; Carruba, V. (December 2014). Identification and Dynamical Properties of Asteroid Families. Asteroids IV. pp. 297–321. arXiv:1502.01628. Bibcode:2015aste.book..297N. doi:10.2458/azu_uapress_9780816532131-ch016. ISBN 9780816532131.
  16. ^ Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (1051) Merope". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 21 March 2018.

External links[edit]