|Discovered by||Hubble Space Telescope|
|Discovery site||Earth's orbit|
|Discovery date||30 July 2014|
|MPC designation||2014 OS393|
|e31007AI  · e3  · PT2 |
|TNO  · cubewano |
|Orbital characteristics |
|Epoch 8 August 2014 (JD 2456877.5)|
|Uncertainty parameter 8|
|Observation arc||121 days|
|291.29 yr (106,395 d)|
|0° 0m 12.24s / day|
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. Until 2015, when the object 2014 MU69 was selected, it was a potential flyby target for the New Horizons probe. Estimated to be approximately 42 kilometres (26 mi) in diameter, the object has a poorly determined orbit as it had been observed for only a few months.
Discovery and designation
2014 OS393 was discovered with the help of the Hubble Space Telescope 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. 2014 OS393 was first discovered in observations on July 30, 2014, but it was designated e31007AI at the time, nicknamed e3 for short. Its existence as a potential target of the New Horizons probe was revealed by NASA in October 2014 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.
Orbit and classification
2014 OS393 is a trans-Neptunian object and likely a non-resonant classical Kuiper belt object, also known as "cubewano". 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. As this object has not been observed since October 2014, its orbit remains poorly determined still containing a high uncertainty.
Potential targets of the New Horizons mission
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. The potential encounter in 2018–2019 would have been at a distance of 43–44 AU from the Sun.
Numbering and naming
- "2014 OS393". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- 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.
- Zangari, Amanda (March 28, 2015). "Postcards from Pluto". Tumblr.
- "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: (2014 OS393)" (2014-10-24 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- Johnston, Wm. Robert (30 December 2017). "List of Known Trans-Neptunian Objects". Johnston's Archive. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- Buie, Marc (October 15, 2014). "New Horizons HST KBO Search Results: Status Report" (PDF). Space Telescope Science Institute. p. 23.
- 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.
- "Hubble to Proceed with Full Search for New Horizons Targets". HubbleSite news release. Space Telescope Science Institute. July 1, 2014.
- Schmidt, Klaus (2 July 2014). "Hubble to Proceed with Full Search for New Horizons Targets". International Space Fellowship.
- "NASA's Hubble Telescope Finds Potential Kuiper Belt Targets for New Horizons Pluto Mission". HubbleSite. 15 October 2014.
- 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.
- Powell, Corey S. (March 29, 2015). "Alan Stern on Pluto's Wonders, New Horizons' Lost Twin, and That Whole "Dwarf Planet" Thing". Discover.
- Cofield, Calla (28 August 2015). "Beyond Pluto: 2nd Target Chosen for New Horizons Probe". Space.com.
- 2014 OS393 at the JPL Small-Body Database