2202 Pele

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2202 Pele
Discovery [1]
Discovered byA. R. Klemola
Discovery siteLick Obs.
Discovery date7 September 1972
MPC designation(2202) Pele
Named after
Pele (Hawaiian religion)[2]
1972 RA
NEO · Amor[1][3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc42.59 yr (15,555 days)
Aphelion3.4646 AU
Perihelion1.1146 AU
2.2896 AU
3.46 yr (1,265 days)
0° 17m 4.2s / day
Earth MOID0.1426 AU · 55.6 LD
Physical characteristics
Dimensions1.5±0.5 km (generic)[4]

2202 Pele, provisional designation 1972 RA, is an eccentric asteroid and near-Earth object of the Amor group, approximately 1–2 kilometers in diameter.

It was discovered by American astronomer Arnold Klemola at the U.S. Lick Observatory on Mount Hamilton, California, on 7 September 1972.[3] The asteroid was named after Pele from native Hawaiian religion.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Pele orbits the Sun at a distance of 1.1–3.5 AU once every 3 years and 6 months (1,265 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.51 and an inclination of 9° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

It is an Amor asteroid, the second largest subgroup of near-Earth objects, that approach the orbit of Earth from beyond, but does not cross it. It has an Earth minimum orbit intersection distance of 0.1426 AU (21,330,000 km), which corresponds to 55.6 lunar distances.

No precoveries were taken. The asteroid's observation arc starts two days after the official discovery observation.[3]

Physical characteristics[edit]

As of 2017, Pele's effective size, composition, and albedo, as well as its rotation period and shape remain unknown.[1][5] It measures between 1 and 2 kilometers, based on a generic magnitude-to-diameter conversion, which assumes an albedo in the range of 0.05 to 0.25.[4]


This minor planet was named after Pele, the goddess of fire, lightning, and volcanoes from Hawaiian mythology. Pele created the Hawaiian Islands and made Kīlauea her home, after she was forced to go away by her rival sister and goddess of the sea, Nāmaka.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 1 June 1980 (M.P.C. 5360).[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 2202 Pele (1972 RA)" (2015-04-10 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(2202) Pele". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2202) Pele. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 179. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_2203. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c "2202 Pele (1972 RA)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Absolute Magnitude (H)". NASA/JPL. Retrieved 2014-06-24.
  5. ^ "LCDB Data for (2202) Pele". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 11 June 2017.
  6. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 1 December 2016.

External links[edit]