|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||1868 Thersites|
|2008 P–L · 1972 RB2|
|Orbital characteristics |
|Epoch 27 June 2015 (JD 2457200.5)|
|Uncertainty parameter 0|
|Observation arc||61.13 yr (22,329 days)|
|12.27 yr (4,482 days)|
1868 Thersites, also designated 2008 P–L, is a Jupiter trojan asteroid that orbits in the L4 Lagrangian point of the Sun–Jupiter system, in the Greek camp of Jupiter trojan. It was discovered by Cornelis van Houten, Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld and Tom Gehrels on September 24, 1960 at Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California. It orbits the Sun at a distance of 4.7–5.9 AU once every 12.27 years (4,482 days) and has a rotation period of 10.4 hours.
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 Trojan asteroid is named after Thersites, a Greek warrior who wanted to abandon Troy's siege and head home. The given name refers to the fact that the asteroid was discovered farthest from the Trojan libration point.
1869 Philoctetes was also discovered the same day by the same group.
- "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1868 Thersites (2008 P-L)" (2015-05-16 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved October 2015.
- Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1868) Thersites. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 150. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7. Retrieved October 2015.
- Mottola, Stefano; Di Martino, Mario; Erikson, Anders; Gonano-Beurer, Maria; Carbognani, Albino; Carsenty, Uri; Hahn, Gerhard; Schober, Hans-Josef; Lahulla, Felix; Delbò, Marco; Lagerkvist, Claes-Ingvar (May 2011). "Rotational Properties of Jupiter Trojans. I. Light Curves of 80 Objects". The Astronomical Journal 141 (5): 170. Bibcode:2011AJ....141..170M. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/141/5/170.
- Discovery Circumstances: Numbered Minor Planets
- Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, Google books
- 1868 Thersites at the JPL Small-Body Database