319 Leona

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319 Leona
Discovery [1]
Discovered byA. Charlois
Discovery siteNice Obs.
Discovery date8 October 1891
MPC designation(319) Leona
Named after
A920 HE
main-belt · (outer)[1][3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc125.32 yr (45,774 days)
Aphelion4.1451 AU
Perihelion2.6655 AU
3.4053 AU
6.28 yr (2,295 days)
0° 9m 24.48s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions49.943±0.477 km[4]
54.136±1.193 km[5]
65.90±0.92 km[6]
67.97 km (derived)[3]
89.00±27.92 km[7]
9.06±0.05 h (fragmentary)[8]
9.6 h (fragmentary)[8]
14.9±0.1 h (fragmentary)[9]
430±2 h[10]
0.0318 (derived)[3]
P[5] · X[11] · C[3]
9.8[6][5] · 10.09±0.10[11] · 10.17[7] · 10.2[1][3] · 10.46±0.06[10]

Leona, (minor planet designation: 319 Leona) provisional designation A920 HE, is a dark asteroid and tumbling slow rotator from the outermost regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 70 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 8 October 1891, by French astronomer Auguste Charlois at Nice Observatory in southwestern France.[12] Any reference of its name to a person is unknown.[2]

Classification and orbit[edit]

Leona orbits the Sun in the outer main-belt at a distance of 2.7–4.1 AU once every 6 years and 3 months (2,295 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.22 and an inclination of 11° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

The asteroid's observation arc begins at the discovering observatory, one night after its official discovery observation.[12]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Spectral type[edit]

Leona has been characterized as a dark and reddish P-type asteroid by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE), and as an X-type asteroid by Pan-STARRS photometric survey.[5] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link groups it to the carbonaceous C-type asteroids.[3]

Slow rotator and tumbler[edit]

In October 2016, a rotational lightcurve of Leona was obtained from photometric observations by astronomers Frederick Pilcher (see naming cite for 1990 Pilcher) at Organ Mesa Observatory (G50), United States, Lorenzo Franco at Balzaretto Observatory (A81), Italy, and Petr Pravec at the Ondřejov Observatory, Czech Republic. Lightcurve analysis gave a well-defined rotation period of 430±2 hours with a brightness variation of 0.5 magnitude (U=3).[10]

This makes Leona one of the Top 100 slowest rotators known to exist. The astronomers also detected a non-principal axis rotation seen in distinct rotational cycles in successive order. This tumbling also gives an alternative candidate period solution of 1084±10 hours, one of the longest periods ever measured.[10] It is the third-largest tumbler known to exists (also see List of tumblers).

Previous observations of Leona gave a much shorter period between 6 and 15 hours,[8][9] which demonstrates the intricacy when observing slow rotators, especially those with a tumbling motion. A detailed description of the procedure of the photometric measurement is given by Pilcher.[10]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by the Japanese Akari satellite and the NEOWISE mission of NASA's WISE space-telescope, Leona measures between 49.943 and 89.00 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.02 and 0.085.[4][5][6][7] CALL derived an albedo of 0.0318 and a diameter of 67.97 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 10.2.[3]


The origin of this minor planet's name is unknown.[2]

Unknown meaning[edit]

Among the many thousands of named minor planets, Leona is one of 120 asteroids, for which no official naming citation has been published. All of these low-numbered asteroids have numbers between 164 Eva and 1514 Ricouxa and were discovered between 1876 and the 1930s, predominantly by astronomers Auguste Charlois, Johann Palisa, Max Wolf and Karl Reinmuth (also see category).[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 319 Leona" (2017-02-04 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(319) Leona". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (319) Leona. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 42. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_320. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "LCDB Data for (319) Leona". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  4. ^ 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. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.; Hand, E.; Bauer, J.; Tholen, D.; et al. (November 2011). "NEOWISE Studies of Spectrophotometrically Classified Asteroids: Preliminary Results". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90.
  6. ^ 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 26 July 2017.
  7. ^ 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. arXiv:1606.08923. Bibcode:2016AJ....152...63N. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/3/63. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  8. ^ a b c Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (319) Leona". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  9. ^ a b Alkema, Michael S. (October 2013). "Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at Elephant Head Observatory: 2013 April-July". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 40 (4): 215–216. Bibcode:2013MPBu...40..215A. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  10. ^ a b c d e Pilcher, Frederick; Franco, Lorenzo; Pravec, Petr (April 2017). "319 Leona and 341 California - Two Very Slowly Rotating Asteroids" (PDF). The Minor Planet Bulletin. 44 (2): 87–90. Bibcode:2017MPBu...44...87P. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 26 July 2017.[permanent dead link]
  11. ^ a b 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 26 July 2017.
  12. ^ a b "319 Leona". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 July 2017.
  13. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "Appendix 11 – Minor Planet Names with Unknown Meaning". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – Fifth Revised and Enlarged revision. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 927–929. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.

External links[edit]