1776 Kuiper

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1776 Kuiper
Discovery [1]
Discovered by C. J. van Houten
I. van Houten-G.
T. Gehrels
Discovery site Palomar Obs.
Discovery date 24 September 1960
MPC designation (1776) Kuiper
Named after
Gerard Kuiper (astronomer)[2]
2520 P-L · 1930 EB
1931 KK · 1938 SU
1952 DQ2 · 1963 FJ
main-belt · (outer)
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 16 February 2017 (JD 2457800.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 86.69 yr (31,665 days)
Aphelion 3.1434 AU
Perihelion 3.0616 AU
3.1025 AU
Eccentricity 0.0132
5.46 yr (1,996 days)
0° 10m 49.44s / day
Inclination 9.4930°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 35.96±1.6 km (IRAS:9)[3]
0.0544±0.005 (IRAS:9)[3]

1776 Kuiper, provisional designation 2520 P-L, is a dark asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 38 kilometers in diameter.

It was discovered on 24 September 1960, by Dutch astronomer couple Ingrid and Cornelis van Houten in collaboration with Dutch–American astronomer Tom Gehrels at the U.S. Palomar Observatory in California, and named for famous astronomer Gerard Kuiper.[2][5]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Kuiper orbits the Sun in the outer main-belt at a distance of 3.1–3.1 AU once every 5 years and 6 months (1,996 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.01 and an inclination of 9° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] Kuiper was first identified as 1930 EB at Heidelberg Observatory in 1930, extending its observation arc by 30 years prior to its official discovery observation.[5]

The survey designation "P-L" stands for Palomar–Leiden, named after Palomar 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.[6]

Physical characteristics[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite IRAS and NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Kuiper measures 36.0 and 40.0 kilometers in diameter, and its surface has a low albedo of 0.033 and 0.054, respectively.[3][4] Typical value for C-, D- or P-type asteroids in the outer main-belt. However, as of 2017, Kuiper's composition, as well as its rotation period and shape remain unknown.[7]


This minor planet is named after Dutch–American astronomer Gerard Kuiper (1905–1973), initiator of the Palomar-Leiden survey. He was a well-known authority in the field of planetary science and director at the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory and at Yerkes Observatory. He discovered Miranda and Nereid, satellites of Uranus and Neptune, respectively.[2]

The third zone of the Solar System, the Kuiper belt, is named after him. Also, the Mercurian crater Kuiper, the Martian crater Kuiper and the lunar crater Kuiper all bear his name.[2] Naming citation was published before November 1977 (M.P.C. 3185).[8]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1776 Kuiper (2520 P-L)" (2016-11-10 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1776) Kuiper. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 142. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Tedesco, E. F.; Noah, P. V.; Noah, M.; Price, S. D. (October 2004). "IRAS Minor Planet Survey V6.0". NASA Planetary Data System. Bibcode:2004PDSS...12.....T. Retrieved 3 November 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Grav, T.; Bauer, J. M.; Cutri, R. M.; Nugent, C.; et al. (November 2012). "Preliminary Analysis of WISE/NEOWISE 3-Band Cryogenic and Post-cryogenic Observations of Main Belt Asteroids". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 759 (1): 5. Bibcode:2012ApJ...759L...8M. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/759/1/L8. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "1776 Kuiper (2520 P-L)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "Minor Planet Discoverers". Minor Planet Center. 28 December 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2016. 
  7. ^ "LCDB Data for (1776) Kuiper". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 4 April 2017. 
  8. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 24 June 2016. 

External links[edit]