|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||1869 Philoctetes|
|Orbital characteristics |
|Epoch 27 June 2015 (JD 2457200.5)|
|Uncertainty parameter 0|
|Observation arc||54.64 yr (19,959 days)|
|11.97 yr (4,373 days)|
1869 Philoctetes, also designated 4596 P–L, is a Jupiter Trojan asteroid that orbits in the L4 Lagrangian point of the Sun–Jupiter system, in the "Greek Camp" of Trojan asteroids. It was discovered on September 24, 1960 by the Dutch and Dutch–American astronomers Cornelis van Houten, Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld and Tom Gehrels at Palomar Observatory on Palomar Mountain, California. 1868 Thersites was also discovered the same day by the same group. The asteroid orbits the Sun at a distance of 4.9–5.6 AU once every 12 years (4,373 days). Its rotation period, size and geometric albedo are unknown.
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.
It was named after the Greek mythological figure Philoctetes, archer and armor-bearer of Hercules, wounded and left to die on the way to the Trojan War. Since it had been prophesied that Troy could not be taken without the arrows of Hercules, Philoctetes was later taken to Troy, where he killed Paris.
- "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1869 Philoctetes (4596 P-L)" (2015-05-18 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved November 2015.
- Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1869) Philoctetes. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 150. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7. Retrieved November 2015.
- "1869 Philoctetes (4596 P-L)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved November 2015.