2014 OS393

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2014 OS393
Discovery [1]
Discovered byHubble Space Telescope
Discovery siteEarth's orbit
Discovery date30 July 2014
MPC designation2014 OS393
e31007AI [2] · e3 [3] · PT2 [3]
TNO[4] · cubewano[5]
Orbital characteristics[4]
Epoch 8 August 2014 (JD 2456877.5)
Uncertainty parameter 8
Observation arc121 days
Aphelion45.353 AU
Perihelion42.531 AU
43.942 AU
291.29 yr (106,395 d)
0° 0m 12.24s / day
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
30–55 km[6]
35–55 km[2]
42 km[5]

2014 OS393, unofficially designated e31007AI, e3 and PT2, is a trans-Neptunian object and possibly a classical Kuiper belt object, located in the outermost region of the Solar System. It was first observed by astronomers using the Hubble Space Telescope on 30 July 2014.[1] Until 2015, when the object 2014 MU69 was selected, it was a potential flyby target for the New Horizons probe.[3] Estimated to be approximately 42 kilometres (26 mi) in diameter,[5] the object has a poorly determined orbit as it had been observed for only a few months.[4]

Discovery and designation[edit]

The orbits of New Horizons potential targets 1-3. 2014 OS393 (PT2) is in red. 2014 MU69 (PT1) is in blue. 2014 PN70 is in green.

2014 OS393 was discovered with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope[7] because the object has a magnitude of 26.3, which is too faint to be observed by ground-based telescopes. Preliminary observations by the HST searching for KBO flyby targets for the New Horizons probe started in June 2014, and more intensive observations continued in July and August.[8][9] 2014 OS393 was first discovered in observations on July 30, 2014, but it was designated e31007AI at the time, nicknamed e3 for short.[3][6] Its existence as a potential target of the New Horizons probe was revealed by NASA in October 2014[10][11] and designated PT2, but the official name 2014 OS393 was not assigned by the Minor Planet Center (MPC) until March 2015 after better orbit information was available.[3]

Orbit and classification[edit]

2014 OS393 is a trans-Neptunian object and likely a non-resonant classical Kuiper belt object, also known as "cubewano".[5] It orbits the Sun at a distance of 42.5–45.4 AU once every 291 years and 3 months (106,395 days; semi-major axis of 43.9 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.03 and an inclination of 4° with respect to the ecliptic.[4] As this object has not been observed since October 2014, its orbit remains poorly determined still containing a high uncertainty.[1][4]

The body's observation arc begins with a precovery taken on 25 June 2014, by the New Horizons KBO Search team using the Subaru Telescope at Mauna Kea Observatory on Hawaii.[1]

Potential targets of the New Horizons mission[edit]

After the New Horizons probe completed its flyby of Pluto, the probe was to be maneuvered to a flyby of at least one Kuiper belt object. Several potential targets were under consideration for the first such flyby. 2014 OS393 has an estimated mean-diameter between 30 and 55 kilometers, depending on the body's assumed albedo.[5][6] The potential encounter in 2018–2019 would have been at a distance of 43–44 AU from the Sun.[2]

On 28 August 2015, the New Horizons team announced the selection of 2014 MU69 as the next flyby target, eliminating the other possible targets -- 2014 OS393, 2014 PN70, and 2014 MT69.[3][12][13]

Numbering and naming[edit]

This minor planet has not been numbered by the Minor Planet Center and remains unnamed.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "2014 OS393". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e Lakdawalla, Emily (October 15, 2014). "Finally! New Horizons has a second target". Planetary Society blog. Planetary Society. Archived from the original on October 15, 2014.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Zangari, Amanda (March 28, 2015). "Postcards from Pluto". Tumblr.
  4. ^ a b c d e f "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: (2014 OS393)" (2014-10-24 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e Johnston, Wm. Robert (30 December 2017). "List of Known Trans-Neptunian Objects". Johnston's Archive. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d Buie, Marc (October 15, 2014). "New Horizons HST KBO Search Results: Status Report" (PDF). Space Telescope Science Institute. p. 23.
  7. ^ J. R. Spencer; M. W. Buie; et al. (2015). "The Successful Search for a Post-Pluto KBO Flyby Target for New Horizons Using the Hubble Space Telescope" (PDF). European Planetary Science Congress (EPSC) Abstract. Copernicus Office.
  8. ^ "Hubble to Proceed with Full Search for New Horizons Targets". HubbleSite news release. Space Telescope Science Institute. July 1, 2014.
  9. ^ Schmidt, Klaus (2 July 2014). "Hubble to Proceed with Full Search for New Horizons Targets". International Space Fellowship.
  10. ^ "NASA's Hubble Telescope Finds Potential Kuiper Belt Targets for New Horizons Pluto Mission". HubbleSite. 15 October 2014.
  11. ^ Wall, Mike (October 15, 2014). "Hubble Telescope Spots Post-Pluto Targets for New Horizons Probe". Space.com. Archived from the original on October 15, 2014.
  12. ^ Powell, Corey S. (March 29, 2015). "Alan Stern on Pluto's Wonders, New Horizons' Lost Twin, and That Whole "Dwarf Planet" Thing". Discover.
  13. ^ Cofield, Calla (28 August 2015). "Beyond Pluto: 2nd Target Chosen for New Horizons Probe". Space.com.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]