2598 Merlin

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2598 Merlin
Discovery [1]
Discovered byE. Bowell
Discovery siteAnderson Mesa Stn.
Discovery date7 September 1980
MPC designation(2598) Merlin
Named after
Merlin (Arthurian legend)[2]
1980 RY · 1948 WH
1971 TD3
main-belt · Dora [3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc68.44 yr (24,998 days)
Aphelion3.3861 AU
Perihelion2.1757 AU
2.7809 AU
4.64 yr (1,694 days)
0° 12m 45s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions15.694±0.047 km[4]
SMASS = Ch [1]

2598 Merlin, provisional designation 1980 RY, is a carbonaceous Dorian asteroid from the central regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 16 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 7 September 1980, by American astronomer Edward Bowell at Lowell's Anderson Mesa Station in Flagstaff, Arizona, United States.[5] The asteroid was named after the legendary wizard Merlin in Arthurian legend.[2]

Classification and orbit[edit]

Merlin is a member of the Dora family (512), a well-established central asteroid family of more than 1,200 carbonaceous asteroids. The family's namesake is 668 Dora. It is alternatively known as the "Zhongolovich family", named after its presumably largest member 1734 Zhongolovich. The Dora family may also contain a subfamily.[3][6]:13,23

Merlin orbits the Sun in the central main-belt at a distance of 2.2–3.4 AU once every 4 years and 8 months (1,694 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.22 and an inclination of 8° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] In Nombember 1948, the asteroid was first identified 1948 WH at Uccle Observatory, where the body's observation arc begins 32 years prior to its official discovery observation at Anderson Mesa.[5]

Physical characteristics[edit]

In the SMASS classification, Merlin a Ch-type asteroid, a hydrated subtype of the broader carbonaceous C-complex.[1]

According to the surveys carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Merlin measures 15.694 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.049.[4]


As of 2017, no rotational lightcurve of Merlin has been obtained from photometric observations. The body's rotation period and shape remain unknown.[1][7]


This minor planet was named after the sage and sorcerer Merlin, featured mentor of King Arthur in Arthurian legend and medieval Welsh poetry. His magic enabled Arthur to pull Excalibur from the rock and become the rightwise king born of all England. The name was suggested by F. Pilcher.[2] The approved naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 4 August 1982 (M.P.C. 7157).[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 2598 Merlin (1980 RY)" (2017-05-05 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(2598) Merlin". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2598) Merlin. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 212. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_2599. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b Broz, M.; Morbidelli, A.; Bottke, W. F.; Rozehnal, J.; Vokrouhlický, D.; Nesvorný, D. (March 2013). "Constraining the cometary flux through the asteroid belt during the late heavy bombardment". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 551: 16. arXiv:1301.6221. Bibcode:2013A&A...551A.117B. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201219296.
  4. ^ 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 7 July 2017.
  5. ^ a b "2598 Merlin (1980 RY)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ "LCDB Data for (2598) Merlin". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  8. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 7 July 2017.

External links[edit]