2039 Payne-Gaposchkin

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2039 Payne-Gaposchkin
Discovery [1]
Discovery siteHarvard College Obs.
(George R. Agassiz Station)
Discovery date14 February 1974
(2039) Payne-Gaposchkin
Named after
Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin
(British–American astronomer)[2]
1974 CA
main-belt · Themis[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc42.57 yr (15,547 days)
Aphelion3.6024 AU
Perihelion2.7559 AU
3.1792 AU
5.67 yr (2,070 days)
0° 10m 26.04s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions13.55 km (calculated)[3]
13.612±0.291 km[4][5]
13.7±1.4 km[6]
27.6329±0.5535 h[7]
0.08 (assumed)[3]
12.5[4] · 12.60[6] · 12.7[1][3] · 13.157±0.007 (S)[7] · 13.18±0.30[8]

2039 Payne-Gaposchkin, provisional designation 1974 CA, is a carbonaceous Themistian asteroid from the outer regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 14 kilometers in diameter. The asteroid was discovered on 14 February 1974, by astronomers at the George R. Agassiz Station of the Harvard College Observatory in Massachusetts, United States.[9] It was named for British–American astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin.[2]

Classification and orbit[edit]

Payne-Gaposchkin is a member of the Themis family, a dynamical family of carbonaceous asteroids with nearly coplanar ecliptical orbits, located in the outer-belt main. It orbits the Sun at a distance of 2.8–3.6 AU once every 5 years and 8 months (2,070 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.13 and an inclination of 3° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The body's observation arc begins with its official discovery observation at Oak Ridge in 1974.[9]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Pan-STARRS' photometric survey characterized Payne-Gaposchkin as a carbonaceous C-type asteroid.[8]


In October 2011, a rotational lightcurve of Payne-Gaposchkin was obtained from photometric observations in the S-band by astronomers at the Palomar Transient Factory in California. Lightcurve analysis gave a longer than average rotation period of 27.6329 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.24 magnitude (U=2).[7]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Payne-Gaposchkin measures 13.612 and 13.7 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.09 and 0.095, respectively.[4][5][6] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for Themistian asteroids of 0.08 and calculates a diameter of 13.55 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 12.7.[3]


This minor planet was named after British–American astronomer Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin (1900–1979), who was a Harvard professor of astronomy and staff member of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory. Considered a pioneer of modern astrophysics, her research focused on high luminosity and variable stars including giants and supergiants, as well as novae and supernovae. Payne-Gaposchkin also authored several astronomy textbooks on variable stars.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 15 October 1977 (M.P.C. 4238).[10]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 2039 Payne-Gaposchkin (1974 CA)" (2016-09-08 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(2039) Payne-Gaposchkin". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2039) Payne-Gaposchkin. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 165. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_2040. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (2039) Payne-Gaposchkin". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Grav, T.; Bauer, J. M.; Cutri, R. M.; Dailey, J.; et al. (November 2011). "Main Belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE. I. Preliminary Albedos and Diameters". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 20. arXiv:1109.4096. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...68M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/68. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Alí-Lagoa, V.; Licandro, J.; Gil-Hutton, R.; Cañ; ada-Assandri, M.; Delbo', M.; et al. (June 2016). "Differences between the Pallas collisional family and similarly sized B-type asteroids". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 591: 11. Bibcode:2016A&A...591A..14A. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201527660. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Waszczak, Adam; Chang, Chan-Kao; Ofek, Eran O.; Laher, Russ; Masci, Frank; Levitan, David; et al. (September 2015). "Asteroid Light Curves from the Palomar Transient Factory Survey: Rotation Periods and Phase Functions from Sparse Photometry". The Astronomical Journal. 150 (3): 35. arXiv:1504.04041. Bibcode:2015AJ....150...75W. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/3/75. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ a b "2039 Payne-Gaposchkin (1974 CA)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 29 June 2017.
  10. ^ 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]