1953 Rupertwildt

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1953 Rupertwildt
Discovery [1]
Discovered by Indiana University
(Indiana Asteroid Program)
Discovery site Goethe Link Obs.
Discovery date 29 October 1951
MPC designation (1953) Rupertwildt
Named after
Rupert Wildt (astronomer)[2]
1951 UK · 1929 VC
1929 WD · 1934 RJ
1951 WG · 1958 BD
main-belt · (outer)
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 87.14 yr (31,829 days)
Aphelion 3.6776 AU
Perihelion 2.5416 AU
3.1096 AU
Eccentricity 0.1827
5.48 yr (2,003 days)
0° 10m 46.92s / day
Inclination 2.4591°
Jupiter Tisserand parameter 3.1920
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 21.970±0.270[3]
24 km (est. at 0.06)[4]

1953 Rupertwildt, provisionally designated 1951 UK, is an asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 22 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 29 October 1951, by the Indiana Asteroid Program of Indiana University at its Goethe Link Observatory, Indiana, United States, and named after astronomer Rupert Wildt.[2][5]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Rupertwildt orbits the Sun in the outer main-belt at a distance of 2.5–3.7 AU once every 5 years and 6 months (2,003 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.18 and an inclination of 2° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] Due to a precovery taken at Lowell Observatory in 1929, the asteroid's observation arc begins 22 years before its official discovery observation at Goethe Link.[5]

Physical characteristics[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Rupertwildt measures 22.0 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.070.[3] Assuming an albedo in the range of 0.05 to 0.25, the asteroid measures between 12 and 26 kilometers in diameter, based on an absolute magnitude of 11.9.[4]


As of 2017, Rupertwildt's composition, rotation period and shape remain unknown.[1][6]


This minor planet was named in memory of German–American astronomer Rupert Wildt (1905–1976), professor of Astronomy at Yale University. In 1966, he was awarded the Eddington Medal by the Royal Astronomical Society for his discovery of the importance of negative hydrogen ions as a contributor to the solar atmosphere's opacity. He was one of the first to construct a model of the composition of the giant planets, as he recognized that the hydrogen-rich methane (CH4) and ammonia (NH3) are responsible for the absorption bands at red wavelengths. In the 1960s and 1970s, Wildt was chairman, president and the first scientific representative on the board of AURA.[2]

The approved naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 6 June 1982 (M.P.C. 6954).[7] The lunar crater Wildt is also named in his honour.


  1. ^ a b c d e "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1953 Rupertwildt (1951 UK)" (2016-11-23 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2 July 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1953) Rupertwildt. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 157. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Grav, T.; Bauer, J. M.; Cutri, R. M.; Dailey, J.; et al. (November 2011). "Main Belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE. I. Preliminary Albedos and Diameters". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 20. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...68M. arXiv:1109.4096Freely accessible. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/68. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Absolute Magnitude (H)". NASA/JPL. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "1953 Rupertwildt (1951 UK)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  6. ^ "LCDB Data for (1953) Rupertwildt". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 5 April 2017. 
  7. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 

External links[edit]