2004 Lexell

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2004 Lexell
Discovery [1]
Discovered byN. Chernykh
Discovery siteCrimean Astrophysical Obs.
Discovery date22 September 1973
MPC designation(2004) Lexell
Named after
Anders Johan Lexell
(Swedish-Russian astronomer)[2]
1973 SV2 · 1938 WL
1941 SN1 · 1959 GC
1972 HK
main-belt · Flora[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc78.55 yr (28,689 days)
Aphelion2.3451 AU
Perihelion1.9986 AU
2.1718 AU
3.20 yr (1,169 days)
0° 18m 28.44s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions7.255±0.216 km[4]
7.456±0.084 km[5]
7.82 km (calculated)[3]
14.7 km[6]
5.44±0.02 h[7]
5.441±0.002 h[8]
5.4429±0.0003 h[6]
0.24 (assumed)[3]
LS [9] · S[3]
12.6[5] · 12.7[1][3] · 12.908±0.064[6] · 13.04±0.00[9]

2004 Lexell, provisional designation 1973 SV2, is a stony Florian asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 7.5 kilometers in diameter. The asteroid was discovered on 22 September 1973, by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Chernykh at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Nauchnij, on the Crimean peninsula, and later named for Swedish-Russian astronomer and mathematician Anders Johan Lexell.[2][10]

Classification and orbit[edit]

Lexell is a member of the Flora family, one of the largest collisional populations of stony asteroids. It orbits the Sun at a distance of 2.0–2.3 AU once every 3 years and 2 months (1,169 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.08 and an inclination of 2° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

The asteroid was first identified as 1938 WL at the Finnish Turku Observatory in November 1938, extending the body's observation arc by 35 years prior to its official discovery observation at Nauchnij.[10]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Pan-STARRS' photometric survey characterized Lexell as a LS-type asteroid, which transitions between the common S-type and rare L-type asteroid.[9]

Rotation period[edit]

In March 2013, two rotational lightcurves of Lexell were obtained from photometric observations by Gary Haagen at Stonegate Observatory, Massachusetts, and by a group of astronomers at the Oakley Southern Sky Observatory (E09), Australia. Lightcurve analysis gave a well-defined rotation period of 5.441 and 5.4429 hours with a brightness variation of 0.45 and 0.42 magnitude, respectively (U=3/3).[6][8]

In February 2013, observations made by French amateur astronomer Pierre Antonini gave a concurring period of 5.44 hours with an amplitude of 0.51 magnitude (U=3-).[7]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Lexell measures 7.255 and 7.456 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.306 and 0.2908, respectively.[4][5] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes an albedo of 0.24 – derived from 8 Flora, the largest member and namesake of the Flora family – and calculates a diameter of 7.82 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 12.7.[3]


This minor planet was named after Anders Johan Lexell (1740–1784), a Swedish-Russian astronomer and mathematician. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 15 October 1977 (M.P.C. 4238).[11] The lunar crater Lexell was also named in his honor, as is Lexell's Comet, of which he computed its orbit.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 2004 Lexell (1973 SV2)" (2017-06-03 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(2004) Lexell". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2004) Lexell. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 162. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_2005. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (2004) Lexell". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Grav, T.; Mainzer, A. K.; Nugent, C. R.; Bauer, J. M.; Stevenson, R.; et al. (August 2014). "Main-belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE: Near-infrared Albedos". The Astrophysical Journal. 791 (2): 11. arXiv:1406.6645. Bibcode:2014ApJ...791..121M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/121. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  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". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90.
  6. ^ a b c d e Vander Haagen, Gary A. (October 2010). "Lightcurve and H-G Parameters for 2004 Lexell". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 37 (4): 137–138. Bibcode:2010MPBu...37..137V. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  7. ^ a b Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (2004) Lexell". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  8. ^ a b Albers, Kenda; Kragh, Katherine; Monnier, Adam; Pligge, Zachary; Stolze, Kellen; West, Josh; et al. (October 2010). "Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at the Oakley Southern Sky Observatory: 2009 October thru 2010 April". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 37 (4): 152–158. Bibcode:2010MPBu...37..152A. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  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:1506.00762. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  10. ^ a b "2004 Lexell (1973 SV2)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  11. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. "Appendix – Publication Dates of the MPCs". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – Addendum to Fifth Edition (2006–2008). Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 221. doi:10.1007/978-3-642-01965-4. ISBN 978-3-642-01964-7.

External links[edit]