2099 Öpik

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2099 Öpik
Discovery [1]
Discovered by E. F. Helin
Discovery site Palomar Obs.
Discovery date 8 November 1977
MPC designation (2099) Opik
Named after
Ernst Öpik
(Estonian astronomer)[2]
1977 VB · 1977 UL2
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 60.26 yr (22,009 days)
Aphelion 3.1370 AU
Perihelion 1.4710 AU
2.3040 AU
Eccentricity 0.3616
3.50 yr (1,277 days)
0° 16m 54.48s / day
Inclination 26.966°
Earth MOID 0.4926 AU
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 5.12 km (calculated)[4]
5.17±1.35 km[5]
6.4430±0.0002 h[6]
9.3 h[7]
0.057 (assumed)[4]
S (Tholen)[1]
Ch (SMASS)[1]
C (CALL)[4]
B–V = 0.690[1]
U–B = 0.350[1]
15.18[1][4] · 15.22[5]

2099 Öpik, provisional designation 1977 VB, is a dark and eccentric asteroid and Mars-crosser from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 5.1 kilometers in diameter.

The asteroid was discovered on 8 November 1977, by American astronomer Eleanor Helin at the Palomar Observatory in California, and named after Estonian astronomer Ernst Öpik.[3]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Öpik orbits the Sun in the inner main-belt at a distance of 1.5–3.1 AU once every 3 years and 6 months (1,277 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.36 and an inclination of 27° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The first used precovery was taken at the discovering observatory in 1970, extending the asteroid's observation arc by 7 years prior to its discovery.[3]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Originally, the asteroid's spectral type was that of a bright S-type asteroid in the Tholen classification. More recently, it has been characterized as a dark Ch-type, a hydrated subtype of the carbonaceous C-type asteroids in the SMASS classification, which is in agreement with its low albedo (below).[1]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the survey carried out by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Öpik measures 5.17 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.05.[5] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for carbonaceous asteroids of 0.057 and calculates a diameter of 5.12 kilometers with an absolute magnitude of 15.18.[4]

Rotation period[edit]

In 2005, a photometric lightcurve analysis by several astronomers including Pierre Antonini, rendered a rotation period of 6.4430±0.0002 hours and with a brightness amplitude of 0.21 in magnitude (U=2),[6] superseding the results of an observation from the 1990s that gave a longer period of 9.3 hours (U=2).[7]


This minor planet was named after Estonian astronomer and astrophysicist, Ernst Öpik (1893–1985), who has influenced many fields of astronomy during his 60-year long career. He is noted for developing the discipline of statistical celestial mechanics and for methods to estimate the lifetimes of planet-crossing asteroids. In the early 1950s, he calculated the impact probability of Mars-crossing asteroids with Mars, and concluded that a search for impact craters on Mars would be a fruitful. Fourteen years later, Martian craters were discovered by Mariner 4.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center before November 1977 (M.P.C. 4548).[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 2099 Opik (1977 VB)" (2017-03-05 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2099) Öpik. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 170. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "2099 Opik (1977 VB)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "LCDB Data for (2099) Öpik". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d Nugent, C. R.; Mainzer, A.; Bauer, J.; Cutri, R. M.; Kramer, E. A.; Grav, T.; et al. (September 2016). "NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year Two: Asteroid Diameters and Albedos". The Astronomical Journal. 152 (3): 12. Bibcode:2016AJ....152...63N. arXiv:1606.08923Freely accessible. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/3/63. Retrieved 11 June 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (2099) Öpik". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 
  7. ^ a b Goretti, V. (December 2000). "CCD Photometry of the Mars-crosser Asteroid 2099 Opik". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 27: 46. Bibcode:2000MPBu...27...46G. Retrieved 27 April 2016. 
  8. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 7 December 2016. 

External links[edit]