1809 Prometheus

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For the moon of Saturn, see Prometheus (moon).
1809 Prometheus
Discovery [1]
Discovered by Palomar–Leiden survey
C. J. van Houten, I. van Houten-Groeneveld and Tom Gehrels
Discovery site Palomar Obs.
Discovery date 24 September 1960
MPC designation 1809 Prometheus
Named after
2522 P–L · 1943 EA1
1955 SW · 1955 VA
1965 UR
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 13 January 2016 (JD 2457400.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 60.41 yr (22065 days)
Aphelion 3.2269 AU (482.74 Gm)
Perihelion 2.6257 AU (392.80 Gm)
2.9263 AU (437.77 Gm)
Eccentricity 0.10271
5.01 yr (1828.4 d)
0° 11m 48.804s / day
Inclination 3.2581°
Earth MOID 1.61439 AU (241.509 Gm)
Jupiter MOID 2.07378 AU (310.233 Gm)
Jupiter Tisserand parameter 3.268
Physical characteristics

1809 Prometheus, also designated 2522 P–L, is an asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt. It was discovered on September 24, 1960 by the Dutch astronomer couple Cornelis Johannes van Houten and Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld at Leiden, on photographic plates taken by Dutch–American astronomer Tom Gehrels at Palomar, San Diego County, California.[3]

The asteroid orbits the Sun at a distance of 2.6–3.2 AU once every 5 years (1,829 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.10 and is tilted by 3.3 degrees to the plane of the ecliptic.[1] Little is known about the asteroids size, composition, albedo and rotation, despite having a well-observed orbit with the lowest possible uncertainty of 0 and an observation arc that spans over a time period of more than 60 years.[1]

The 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 Cornelis Johannes van Houten and Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld at Leiden Observatory. The trio are credited with several thousand asteroid discoveries.

The asteroid is named after Prometheus, a Titan of a Greek saga, who stole the fire from the gods. The name has also been given to a moon of Saturn, Prometheus (moon), discovered by the Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1980.[2] The minor planet 1810 Epimetheus is named after his brother.


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1809 Prometheus (2522 P-L)" (2015-10-21 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1809) Prometheus. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 145. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 
  3. ^ "1809 Prometheus (2522 P-L)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 22 August 2016. 

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