12621 Alsufi

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12621 Alsufi
Discovery [1]
Discovered by C. J. van Houten
I. van Houten-G.
Tom Gehrels
Discovery site Palomar Obs.
Discovery date 24 September 1960
Designations
MPC designation 12621 Alsufi
Named after
Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi
(astronomer)[2]
6585 P-L · 1997 JJ12
main-belt · Themis[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 16 February 2017 (JD 2457800.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 55.36 yr (20,219 days)
Aphelion 3.5152 AU
Perihelion 2.6981 AU
3.1067 AU
Eccentricity 0.1315
5.48 yr (2,000 days)
106.06°
0° 10m 48s / day
Inclination 2.4308°
148.06°
204.39°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 6.76 km (calculated)[3]
4.7194±0.0024 h[4]
0.08 (assumed)[3]
L[5] · C[3]
13.9[1] · 13.91±0.26[5] · 13.761±0.014 (R)[4] · 14.21[3]

12621 Alsufi, provisionally designated 6585 P-L, is a carbonaceous Themistian asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 7 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 24 September 1960, by Dutch astronomer couple Ingrid and Cornelis van Houten at Leiden, on photographic plates taken by Dutch–American astronomer Tom Gehrels at the U.S. Palomar Observatory, California.[6]

It is a member of the Themis family, a dynamical group of outer-belt asteroids with nearly coplanar ecliptical orbits. The C-type asteroid is also classified as a rather rare L-type asteroid by Pan-STARRS' large-scale survey.[5] It orbits the Sun at a distance of 2.7–3.5 AU once every 5 years and 6 months (2,000 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.13 and an inclination of 2° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] No precoveries were taken prior to its discovery observation.[6]

A rotational light-curve of this asteroid was obtained from photometric observations made at the U.S. Palomar Transient Factory, California, in January 2012. It gave a rotation period of 4.7194±0.0024 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.71 in magnitude (U=2).[4] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes an albedo of 0.08 and calculates a diameter of 6.8 kilometers, based on an absolute magnitude of 14.21.[3]

The survey designation "P-L" stands for Palomar–Leiden, named after Palomar Observatory and Leiden Observatory, which collaborated on the fruitful Palomar–Leiden survey in the 1960s. Gehrels used Palomar's Samuel Oschin telescope (also known as the 48-inch Schmidt Telescope), and shipped the photographic plates to Ingrid and Cornelis van Houten at Leiden Observatory where astrometry was carried out. The trio are credited with the discovery of several thousand minor planets.[7]

The minor planet is named in honor of 10th-century Persian astronomer Abd al-Rahman al-Sufi (A.D. 903–986), also known by his western name, Azophi. Working in Isfahan, he produced his influential star atlas around A.D. 963. The atlas is based on both, Ptolemy's Almagest and on pre-Islamic star lore, and contains the earliest description of the Andromeda Galaxy.[2] Naming citation was published on 22 January 2008 (M.P.C. 61764).[8] The lunar crater Azophi is also named in his honour.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 12621 Alsufi (6585 P-L)" (2016-02-02 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (12621) Alsufi. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 823. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (12621) Alsufi". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  4. ^ 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:1504.04041Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015AJ....150...75W. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/3/75. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  5. ^ 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:1506.00762Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "12621 Alsufi (6585 P-L)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  7. ^ "Minor Planet Discoverers". Minor Planet Center. 28 December 2015. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 
  8. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 13 May 2016. 

External links[edit]