1981 Midas

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1981 Midas
Discovery [1]
Discovered by C. Kowal
Discovery site Palomar Obs.
Discovery date 6 March 1973
MPC designation 1981 Midas
Named after
Midas (mythology)[2]
1973 EA
Apollo · NEO · PHA[1]
Venus crosser
Mars crosser
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 27 June 2015 (JD 2457200.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 41.97 yr (15,330 days)
Aphelion 2.9307 AU
Perihelion 0.6215 AU
1.7761 AU
Eccentricity 0.6500
2.37 yr (865 days)
Inclination 39.830°
Earth MOID 0.0039 AU
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 3.4 km[1]
1.95±0.07 km[3]
5.220 h[4][5][6]
0.2661 (derived)[7]

1981 Midas, provisional designation 1973 EA, is a vestoid asteroid, classified as a near-Earth object and potentially hazardous asteroid, between 1.9 and 3.4 kilometers in diameter.[1] It was discovered on March 6, 1973 by American astronomer Charles Kowal at Palomar Observatory in San Diego County, California.[8] In 1987 it was also detected by radar from Goldstone Deep Space Communications Complex at a distance of 0.08 AU with a measured maximal radar cross-section of 0.1 km2.[9]

The moderately bright V-type asteroid is also an Apollo asteroid, as well as a Venus and Mars-crosser. The asteroid orbits the Sun at a distance of 0.6–2.9 AU every 2 years and 4 months (865 days). It takes 5.2 hours to rotate once around its axis, as measured by several photometric light-curve observations.[4][5][6]

The orbit of Midas is well-determined with a condition code of 0, the lowest possible degree of uncertainty in orbital determination. It has a low minimum orbit intersection distance with Earth of 0.0039 AU (580,000 km; 360,000 mi), which corresponds to 1.55 lunar distance (Earth–Moon distance). However, it does not pose an impact risk for the foreseable future. Its last notable close approach to Earth was on 11 March 1992 passing 0.13332 AU (19,944,000 km; 12,393,000 mi) from Earth.[10] The next notable close approach will be on 21 March 2018 passing 0.08957 AU (13,399,000 km; 8,326,000 mi) from Earth[10] and shining at an apparent magnitude of +12.4.[11]

The asteroid is named after the figure from Greek mythology, Midas, the King of Phrygia, who turned whatever he touched to gold. Although he had chosen this gift as a reward for kind treatment of his captive, Silenus, he soon realized his mistake and was relieved of his power by bathing in the Pactolus River.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1981 Midas (1973 EA)" (2015-02-24 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1981) Midas. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 160. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7. Retrieved October 2015. 
  3. ^ a b Usui, Fumihiko; Kuroda, Daisuke; Müller, Thomas G.; Hasegawa, Sunao; Ishiguro, Masateru; Ootsubo, Takafumi; Ishihara, Daisuke; Kataza, Hirokazu; et al. (October 2011). "Asteroid Catalog Using Akari: AKARI/IRC Mid-Infrared Asteroid Survey". Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan 63 (5): 1117–1138. Bibcode:2011PASJ...63.1117U. doi:10.1093/pasj/63.5.1117. Retrieved December 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Mottola, S.; de Angelis, G.; di Martino, M.; Erikson, A.; Harris, A. W.; Hahn, G.; Neukum, G.; Pravec, P.; Wolf, M. (March 1995). "The EUNEASO Photometric Follow-up Program". Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Bibcode:1995LPI....26.1003M. Retrieved December 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Wisniewski, W. Z.; Michalowski, T. M.; Harris, A. W.; McMillan, R. S. (March 1995). "Photoelectric Observations of 125 Asteroids". Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Bibcode:1995LPI....26.1511W. Retrieved December 2015. 
  6. ^ a b Torppa, J.; Aksnes, K.; Dai, Z.; Grav, T.; Hahn, G.; Laakso, T.; Lagerkvist, C.-I.; Muinonen, K.; et al. (August 2005). "Spins and Shapes of Potentially Hazardous Asteroids". American Astronomical Society 37: 643. Bibcode:2005DPS....37.1526T. Retrieved December 2015. 
  7. ^ a b "LCDB Data for (1981) Midas". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved December 2015. 
  8. ^ "1981 Midas (1973 EA)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved October 2015. 
  9. ^ Ostro, S. J.; et al. (October 1991), "Asteroid radar astrometry", Astronomical Journal 102, pp. 1490–1502, Bibcode:1991AJ....102.1490O, doi:10.1086/115975. 
  10. ^ a b "JPL Close-Approach Data: 1981 Midas (1973 EA)" (2013-12-30 last obs). Retrieved 2014-01-31. 
  11. ^ "(1981) Midas Ephemerides for 15 Feb 2018 through 15 Apr 2018". NEODyS (Near Earth Objects – Dynamic Site). Retrieved 2014-01-31. 

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