2003 Harding

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2003 Harding
Discovery [1]
Discovered by Palomar–Leiden survey
C. J. van Houten, I. van Houten-Groeneveld and Tom Gehrels
Discovery site Palomar Obs.
Discovery date 24 September 1960
MPC designation 2003 Harding
Named after
Karl Harding[2]
6559 P–L · 1934 XH
1941 BH · 1952 BP
1952 DT · 1971 SU1
1972 YT · 1973 AG1
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 27 June 2015 (JD 2457200.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 80.74 yr (29,492 days)
Aphelion 3.4427 AU
Perihelion 2.6760 AU
3.0594 AU
Eccentricity 0.1252
5.35 yr (1,954.6 days)
Inclination 1.8693°
Physical characteristics
2.96 h

2003 Harding, also designated 6559 P–L, is an asteroid in the asteroid belt discovered on September 24, 1960 by the three astronomers Cornelis van Houten, Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld and Tom Gehrels at Palomar, California.[3] The asteroid is a member of the Eos family.[4] Orbiting the Sun at a distance of 2.7–3.4 AU once every 5 years and 4 months, the asteroid's path is nearly coplanar to the plane of the ecliptic with an orbital inclination of less than 2 degrees. It has a short rotation period of three hours.[1]

The 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 Cornelis Johannes van Houten and Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld at Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands. The trio are credited with several thousand asteroid discoveries.

The asteroid is named after German astronomer Karl Ludwig Harding (1765–1834), who discovered the minor planet 3 Juno. He is also honored by the lunar crater Harding.[2]


  1. ^ a b c "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 2003 Harding (6559 P-L)" (2015-09-11 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved October 2015. 
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2003) Harding. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 162. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7. Retrieved October 2015. 
  3. ^ "2003 Harding (6559 P-L)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved October 2015. 
  4. ^ Alvarez-Candal, Alvaro; et al. (December 2004), "Rotational lightcurves of asteroids belonging to families", Icarus 172 (2): 388–401, Bibcode:2004Icar..172..388A, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2004.06.008. 

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