2001 QW322

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2001 QW322
Discovery [1]
Discovered by Mauna Kea Observatory by ?
Discovery date 24 August 2001
MPC designation 2001 QW322
TNO, cubewano[2][3]
Orbital characteristics[3]
Epoch December 9, 2014 (JD 2457000.5)
Aphelion 45.056 AU
Perihelion 42.606 AU
43.831 AU
Eccentricity 0.0279
290.1 yr (105,993 d)
Inclination 4.81°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 180 km[1]
7.8 [3]

2001 QW322 is a binary minor planet and cubewano in the Kuiper belt. The object was discovered at Mauna Kea on July 27, 2001 by JJ Kavelaars, J.-M. Petit, B. Gladman, and M. Holman. J. Kavelaars later in 2001 discovered that it is a binary. The components are estimated at about 130 km in diameter. It has been nicknamed Antipholus and Antipholus after twins in Shakespeare's The Comedy of Errors.[4]

In 2008, work was published showing that the binary has an extraordinarily long orbital period (for a binary trans-Neptunian object, asteroid or minor planet) of some 25–30 years.[5] The orbital radius is also remarkably high (105,000 to 135,000 km) while the eccentricity is unusually low (< 0.4). All of these parameters are in the extremes of their normal ranges for such objects. The wide spacing and low eccentricity conspire to make the system prone to disruption, and its lifetime is estimated to be in the order of another billion years.


  1. ^ a b "Asteroids with Satellites Database-2001 QW322". Johnston's Archive. 20 September 2014. Retrieved 2015-09-22. 
  2. ^ Wm. Robert Johnston (August 22, 2008). "List of Known Trans-Neptunian Objects". Johnston's Archive. Retrieved December 17, 2006. 
  3. ^ a b c "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: (2001 QW322)" (2004-10-15 last obs). Retrieved 2015-09-22. 
  4. ^ Strangest Kuiper Belt Objects: The Top Five, astroengine, November 9, 2008
  5. ^ Petit, J.-M.; Kavelaars, J. J.; Gladman, B. J.; Margot, J. L.; Nicholson, P. D.; Jones, R. L.; Parker, J. Wm.; Ashby, M. L. N.; Bagatin, A. C.; = Benavidez, P.; Coffey, J.; Rousselot, P.; Mousis, O.; Taylor, P. A. (2008). "The Extreme Kuiper Belt Binary 2001 QW322". Science 322 (5900): 432–4. Bibcode:2008Sci...322..432P. doi:10.1126/science.1163148. PMID 18927391. 

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