2440 Educatio

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2440 Educatio
Discovery [1]
Discovered byE. F. Helin
S. J. Bus
Discovery sitePalomar Obs.
Discovery date7 November 1978
MPC designation(2440) Educatio
Named after
1978 VQ4 · 1928 QH
1954 JK · 1968 US1
1977 JG
main-belt[1][3] · (inner)
Orbital characteristics[3]
Epoch 23 March 2018 (JD 2458200.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc89.43 yr (32,665 d)
Aphelion2.5763 AU
Perihelion1.8554 AU
2.2158 AU
3.30 yr (1,205 d)
0° 17m 55.68s / day
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
6.586±0.128 km[6]
1561 h[5]

2440 Educatio, provisional designation 1978 VQ4, is a Florian asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 6.6 kilometers (4.1 miles) in diameter. The possibly elongated S-type asteroid has an exceptionally long rotation period of 1561 hours and is one of the slowest rotators known to exist.[5] It was discovered on 7 November 1978, by American astronomers Eleanor Helin and Schelte Bus at the Palomar Observatory in California,[1] and later named "Educatio", the Latin word for Education.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Educatio member of the Flora family (402),[4] a giant asteroid family and the largest family of stony asteroids in the main-belt.[7] It orbits the Sun in the inner main-belt at a distance of 1.9–2.6 AU once every 3 years and 4 months (1,205 days; semi-major axis of 2.22 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.16 and an inclination of 4° with respect to the ecliptic.[3]

The asteroid was first observed as 1928 QH at the Simeiz Observatory in August 1928. The body's observation arc begins with its observation as 1954 JK at the Goethe Link Observatory in May 1954, more than 24 years prior to its official discovery observation at Palomar.[1]


This minor planet was named "Educatio", the Latin word for Education, one of the most important human endeavors, which is foremost to the industrialization of space.[1] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 28 January 1983 (M.P.C. 7618).[8]

Physical characteristics[edit]

In the SMASS classification, Educatio is a stony S-type asteroid,[5] which agrees with the overall spectral type for members of the Flora family.[7]:23

Rotation period[edit]

A rotational lightcurve of Educatio, obtained from photometric observations, gave a rotation period of 1561 hours with a high brightness amplitude of 0.80 magnitude (U=2), indicative of a non-spherical shape.[5] It belongs to the small group of slow rotators with a period above 1000 hours.

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Educatio measures 6.59 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.247,[6] while the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link an albedo of 0.24 – derived from 8 Flora, the parent body of the Flora family – and calculates a diameter of 6.51 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 13.1.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "2440 Educatio (1978 VQ4)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(2440) Educatio". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2440) Educatio. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 199. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_2441. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 2440 Educatio (1978 VQ4)" (2018-01-27 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b c "Asteroid 2440 Educatio". Small Bodies Data Ferret. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (2440) Educatio". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  6. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Grav, T.; Mainzer, A. K.; Nugent, C. R.; Bauer, J. M.; Stevenson, R.; et al. (August 2014). "Main-belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE: Near-infrared Albedos". The Astrophysical Journal. 791 (2): 11. arXiv:1406.6645. Bibcode:2014ApJ...791..121M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/121.
  7. ^ a b Nesvorný, D.; Broz, M.; Carruba, V. (December 2014). Identification and Dynamical Properties of Asteroid Families. Asteroids IV. pp. 297–321. arXiv:1502.01628. Bibcode:2015aste.book..297N. doi:10.2458/azu_uapress_9780816532131-ch016. ISBN 9780816532131.
  8. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 June 2018.

External links[edit]