1979 Sakharov

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1979 Sakharov
Discovery [1]
Discovered by C. J. van Houten
I. van Houten-G.
T. Gehrels
Discovery site Palomar Obs.
Discovery date 24 September 1960
MPC designation (1979) Sakharov
Named after
Andrei Sakharov
(Russian physicist)[2]
2006 P-L · 1971 SQ3
1982 SZ12
main-belt · Vestian[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 16 February 2017 (JD 2457800.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 55.47 yr (20,261 days)
Aphelion 2.6117 AU
Perihelion 2.1375 AU
2.3746 AU
Eccentricity 0.0999
3.66 yr (1,337 days)
0° 16m 9.48s / day
Inclination 6.0467°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 4.51 km (taken)[3]
4.512 km[4]
4.760±0.211 km[5][6]
7.5202±0.0003 h[7]
7.5209±0.0002 h[1][a]
7.521±0.005 h[a]
7.589±0.001 h[8]
Q-V[9] · S[3]
13.31±0.02 (R)[a] · 13.5[5] · 13.6[1] · 13.67±0.28[9] · 13.8±0.054[4][3]

1979 Sakharov, provisionally designated 2006 P-L, is a stony Vestian asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 4.5 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 24 September 1960, by the Dutch astronomers Ingrid and Cornelis van Houten, on photographic plates taken by Dutch–American astronomer Tom Gehrels at the U.S. Palomar Observatory in California.[10]

The S-type asteroid, also classified as a Q-V-type by PanSTARRS large-scale survey,[9] is a member of the Vesta family, which is named after the main-belt's second-largest body, 4 Vesta. It orbits the Sun at a distance of 2.1–2.6 AU once every 3 years and 8 months (1,337 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.10 and an inclination of 6° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] As no precoveries were taken, the asteroid's observation arc begins with its discovery observation in September 1960.[10]

In 2011 and 2013, a total of four well-defined rotational light-curves were obtained for this asteroid by astronomers Julian Oey at the Australian Kingsgrove and Leura/ Blue Mountains Observatory (E19 and E17/Q68)[7][8] and by Petr Pravec at the Czech Ondřejov Observatory.[a] The light-curve gave a rotation period of 7.520 to 7.589 hours with a brightness variation between 0.12 and 0.22 in magnitude (U=3/3-/3-/3).

According to the original data from the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, the asteroid measures 4.8 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.31,[5] while the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link agrees with the revised NEOWISE data[4] which gave an albedo of 0.26 and a diameter of 4.5 kilometers, based on an absolute magnitude of 13.8.[3]

The survey 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 Ingrid and Cornelis van Houten at Leiden Observatory where astrometry was carried out. The trio are credited with the discovery of several thousand minor planets.[11]

This minor planet was named in honour of renowned Russian mathematician and physicist Andrei Sakharov (1921–1989), who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975.[2] Naming citation was published on 1 August 1981 (M.P.C. 6207).[12]


  1. ^ a b c d Pravec (2011) web: rotation period 7.5209±0.0002 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.13 magnitude and an absolute magnitude of 13.31. Also, Pravec(2013) web: rotation period 7.521±0.005 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.21 mag. Summary figures at www.minorplanet.info/PHP/GenerateALCDEFPage_Local.php?AstInfo=1979%7CSakharov and www.asu.cas.cz/~ppravec/neo.htm
  1. ^ a b c d e "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1979 Sakharov (2006 P-L)" (2016-03-15 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1979) Sakharov. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 160. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (1979) Sakharov". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d Pravec, Petr; Harris, Alan W.; Kusnirák, Peter; Galád, Adrián; Hornoch, Kamil (September 2012). "Absolute magnitudes of asteroids and a revision of asteroid albedo estimates from WISE thermal observations". Icarus. 221 (1): 365–387. Bibcode:2012Icar..221..365P. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2012.07.026. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  5. ^ 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" (PDF). The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407Freely accessible. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  6. ^ 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:1109.4096Freely accessible. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...68M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/68. Retrieved 8 December 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Oey, Julian; Inasaridze, Raguli Ya.; Kvaratskhelia, Otar I.; Ayvazian, Vova; Chirony, Vasilij G.; Krugly, Yurij N.; et al. (July 2013). "Lightcurve Analysis is Search of Binary Asteroids". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 40 (3): 169–172. Bibcode:2013MPBu...40..169O. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Oey, Julian (October 2014). "Lightcurve Analysis of Asteroids from Blue Mountains Observatory in 2013". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 41 (4): 276–281. Bibcode:2014MPBu...41..276O. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c 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:1506.00762Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "1979 Sakharov (2006 P-L)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  11. ^ "Minor Planet Discoverers". Minor Planet Center. 18 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  12. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 

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