2675 Tolkien

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2675 Tolkien
Discovery [1]
Discovered byM. Watt
Discovery siteAnderson Mesa Stn.
Discovery date14 April 1982
MPC designation(2675) Tolkien
Named after
J.R.R. Tolkien
(English writer)[2]
1982 GB · 1934 VO
1937 RH · 1939 FR
1949 FO · 1950 QA1
1952 DX · 1969 JE
1969 KB · 1970 RB
1973 QX · 1975 BV
main-belt · Flora[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc79.45 yr (29,018 days)
Aphelion2.4386 AU
Perihelion1.9865 AU
2.2126 AU
3.29 yr (1,202 days)
0° 17m 58.2s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions9.65±0.23 km[4]
9.85 km (calculated)[3]
10.960±0.186 km[5]
1060±30 h[6]
0.24 (assumed)[3]
SMASS = S[1] · S[3]
12.10[5] · 12.2[1][3] · 12.50[4] · 12.73±0.27[7]

2675 Tolkien, provisional designation 1982 GB, is a stony Florian asteroid and extremely slow rotator from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 10 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 14 April 1982, by British astronomer Martin Watt at Lowell's Anderson Mesa Station in Flagstaff, Arizona, and later named for J.R.R. Tolkien.[2][8]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Tolkien is a member of the Flora family, one of the largest groups of stony asteroids in the main-belt. It orbits the Sun in the inner main-belt at a distance of 2.0–2.4 AU once every 3 years and 3 months (1,202 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.10 and an inclination of 3° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

Physical characteristics[edit]

In the SMASS classification, Tolkien is a stony S-type asteroid.[1]

Rotation period[edit]

In February 2011, photometric observations of Tolkien were taken over the course of twenty-three nights. The obtained lightcurve revealed that the body is potentially an extremely slow rotator, that has an outstandingly long rotation period of 1058±30 hours, or 44 days, with a brightness amplitude of 0.1 magnitude (U=2+) .[6] An asteroid typically takes only a few hours to rotate once around its axis.

In addition, the body is suspected to be in a non-principal axis rotation ("tumbling").[3] Observations were taken from the Via Capote Observatory (VCO) in California, the Czech Ondřejov Observatory, and the private Shed of Science Observatory (also known as S.O.S. Observatory), near the U.S. city of Minneapolis. (Also see § External links).

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by the Japanese Akari satellite and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, the body measures 9.65 and 10.96 kilometers and its surface has an albedo of 0.205 and 0.213, respectively,[4][5] while the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes an albedo of 0.24 – derived from 8 Flora, the largest member and namesake of this orbital family – and calculates a diameter of 9.85 kilometers with an absolute magnitude of 12.2.[3]


This minor planet was named in honour of J.R.R. Tolkien (1892–1973), an English writer, philologist, and Merton professor of English language at the University of Oxford. He is best known as the author of the fantasy novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Tolkien also had a lifelong interest in astronomy.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 1 December 1982 (M.P.C. 7474).[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 2675 Tolkien (1982 GB)" (2017-02-24 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2675) Tolkien. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 219. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "LCDB Data for (2675) Tolkien". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d Usui, Fumihiko; Kuroda, Daisuke; Müller, Thomas G.; Hasegawa, Sunao; Ishiguro, Masateru; Ootsubo, Takafumi; et al. (October 2011). "Asteroid Catalog Using Akari: AKARI/IRC Mid-Infrared Asteroid Survey". Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan. 63 (5): 1117–1138. Bibcode:2011PASJ...63.1117U. doi:10.1093/pasj/63.5.1117. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Grav, T.; Bauer, J. M.; Cutri, R. M.; Nugent, C.; et al. (November 2012). "Preliminary Analysis of WISE/NEOWISE 3-Band Cryogenic and Post-cryogenic Observations of Main Belt Asteroids". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 759 (1): 5. arXiv:1209.5794. Bibcode:2012ApJ...759L...8M. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/759/1/L8. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  6. ^ a b Durkee, Russell I.; Brinsfield, James W.; Hornoch, Kamil; Kuö; nirak, Petr (October 2011). "The Long Period of 2675 Tolkien". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 38 (4): 182–183. Bibcode:2011MPBu...38..182D. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  7. ^ 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 6 December 2016.
  8. ^ "2675 Tolkien (1982 GB)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 6 December 2016.
  9. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 6 December 2016.

External links[edit]