1955 McMath

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1955 McMath
Discovery [1]
Discovered byIndiana University
(Indiana Asteroid Program)
Discovery siteGoethe Link Obs.
Discovery date22 September 1963
MPC designation(1955) McMath
Named after
Robert McMath
(astronomer, engineer)[2]
1963 SR · 1936 BA
1949 XN · 1951 EP2
1953 RN · 1963 TK
main-belt · Koronis[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc67.17 yr (24,535 days)
Aphelion3.0388 AU
Perihelion2.6703 AU
2.8545 AU
4.82 yr (1,762 days)
0° 12m 15.84s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions9.759±0.248 km[4][5]
10.31 km (calculated)[3]
5.547±0.0315 h[6]
5.57±0.00 h[7]
5.574±0.002 h[8]
5.5976±0.0315 h[6]
0.24 (assumed)[3]
11.78±0.045 (R)[8] · 11.9[4] · 11.97±0.15 (R)[7] · 12.003±0.002 (R)[6] · 12.1[1][3] · 12.42±0.53[9] · 12.498±0.003 (S)[6]

1955 McMath, provisional designation 1963 SR, is a stony Koronis asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 10 kilometers in diameter.

It was discovered on 22 September 1963, by Indiana University's Indiana Asteroid Program at its Goethe Link Observatory near Brooklyn, Indiana, United States.[10] It was later named after solar astronomer Robert Raynolds McMath.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

McMath is a stony S-type asteroid and a member of the Koronis family, which is named after 158 Koronis and consists of about 300 known bodies. It orbits the Sun in the outer main-belt at a distance of 2.7–3.0 AU once every 4 years and 10 months (1,762 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.06 and an inclination of 1° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The first precovery was taken at Goethe Link Observatory in 1949, extending the asteroid's observation arc by 15 years prior to its discovery. The first (unused) observation at Uccle Observatory dates back to 1936.[10]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Rotation period[edit]

It has a well determined rotation period of 5.574±0.002 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.30 in magnitude (U=3).[8] Between 2011 and 2013, three additional lightcurves with concurring periods of McMath with an amplitude between 0.32 and 0.39 magnitude were obtained through photometric observations in the R- and S-band at the U.S. Palomar Transient Factory in California (U=2/3-/2).[7][6]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, McMath measures 9.8 kilometers in diameter and its surface has a high albedo of 0.32,[4] while the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for stony members of the Koronis family of 0.24, and calculates a diameter of 10.3 kilometers.[3]


This minor planet was named after American solar astronomer Robert Raynolds McMath (1891–1962), who was also a bridge engineer and businessman. He was a co-donor and the director of the McMath-Hulbert Observatory in Lake Angelus, Michigan, which was deeded to the University of Michigan. Under his advice, the NSF chose the site at Kitt Peak National Observatory for the McMath-Pierce Solar Telescope.

From the late 1950s, Robert McMath served as the first president of Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy and thereafter as its chairman. The lunar crater McMath is also named in his and his father's honour.[2] The approved naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 1 March 1981 (M.P.C. 5848).[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1955 McMath (1963 SR)" (2017-02-15 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(1955) McMath". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1955) McMath. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 157. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_1956. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (1955) McMath". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.; Hand, E.; Bauer, J.; Tholen, D.; et al. (November 2011). "NEOWISE Studies of Spectrophotometrically Classified Asteroids: Preliminary Results". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  5. ^ a b 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. arXiv:1109.4096. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...68M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/68. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e Waszczak, Adam; Chang, Chan-Kao; Ofek, Eran O.; Laher, Russ; Masci, Frank; Levitan, David; et al. (September 2015). "Asteroid Light Curves from the Palomar Transient Factory Survey: Rotation Periods and Phase Functions from Sparse Photometry". The Astronomical Journal. 150 (3): 35. arXiv:1504.04041. Bibcode:2015AJ....150...75W. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/3/75. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  7. ^ a b c Chang, Chan-Kao; Ip, Wing-Huen; Lin, Hsing-Wen; Cheng, Yu-Chi; Ngeow, Chow-Choong; Yang, Ting-Chang; et al. (June 2014). "313 New Asteroid Rotation Periods from Palomar Transient Factory Observations". The Astrophysical Journal. 788 (1): 21. arXiv:1405.1144. Bibcode:2014ApJ...788...17C. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/788/1/17. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  8. ^ a b c Slivan, Stephen M.; Binzel, Richard P.; Boroumand, Shaida C.; Pan, Margaret W.; Simpson, Christine M.; Tanabe, James T.; et al. (May 2008). "Rotation rates in the Koronis family, complete to H≈11.2". Icarus. 195 (1): 226–276. Bibcode:2008Icar..195..226S. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2007.11.019. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  9. ^ Veres, Peter; Jedicke, Robert; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Denneau, Larry; Granvik, Mikael; Bolin, Bryce; et al. (November 2015). "Absolute magnitudes and slope parameters for 250,000 asteroids observed by Pan-STARRS PS1 - Preliminary results". Icarus. 261: 34–47. arXiv:1506.00762. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  10. ^ a b "1955 McMath (1963 SR)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 21 April 2016.
  11. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 18 May 2016.

External links[edit]