324 Bamberga

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324 Bamberga
324 Bamberga.gif
Discovered by Johann Palisa
Discovery date 25 February 1892
MPC designation (324) Bamberga
Pronunciation /bæmˈbɜːrɡə/ bam-BUR-gə
Named after
Main belt
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 31 July 2016 (JD 2457600.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 124.08 yr (45321 d)
Aphelion 3.59442 AU (537.718 Gm)
Perihelion 1.77023 AU (264.823 Gm)
2.68232 AU (401.269 Gm)
Eccentricity 0.34004
4.39 yr (1604.6 d)
18.18 km/s
0° 13m 27.682s / day
Inclination 11.1011°
Earth MOID 0.786407 AU (117.6448 Gm)
Jupiter MOID 1.96933 AU (294.608 Gm)
Jupiter Tisserand parameter 3.265
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 229.44±7.4 km[1]
234.67 ± 7.80 km[2]
229.4 ± 7.4 km (IRAS)[3]
Mass 1.1×1019 kg[4]
(1.03 ± 0.10) × 1019 kg[2]
Mean density
1.52 ± 0.20[2] g/cm3
Equatorial surface gravity
0.055 m/s²
Equatorial escape velocity
0.11 km/s
1.226 d[5]
29.43 h (1.226 d)[1]
Temperature ~172 K
C-type asteroid[6]

324 Bamberga is one of the largest asteroids in the asteroid belt. It was discovered by Johann Palisa on 25 February 1892 in Vienna. It is the 14th-largest asteroid in the asteroid belt. Apart from the near-Earth asteroid Eros, it was the last asteroid which is ever easily visible with binoculars to be discovered.

Although its very high orbital eccentricity means its opposition magnitude varies greatly, at a rare opposition near perihelion Bamberga can reach a magnitude of +8.0,[7] which is as bright as Saturn's moon Titan. Such near-perihelion oppositions occur on a regular cycle every twenty-two years, with the last occurring in 2013 and the next in 2035, when attaining magnitude 8.1 on September 13. Its brightness at these rare near-perihelion oppositions makes Bamberga the brightest C-type asteroid, roughly one magnitude brighter than 10 Hygiea's maximum brightness of around +9.1. At such an opposition Bamberga can in fact be closer to Earth than any main-belt asteroid with magnitude above +9.5, getting as close as 0.78 AU. For comparison, 7 Iris never comes closer than 0.85 AU and 4 Vesta never closer than 1.13 AU (when it becomes visible to the naked eye in a light pollution-free sky).

Overall Bamberga is the tenth-brightest main-belt asteroid after, in order, Vesta, Pallas, Ceres, Iris, Hebe, Juno, Melpomene, Eunomia and Flora. Its high eccentricity (for comparison 36% higher than that of Pluto), though, means that at most oppositions other asteroids reach higher magnitudes.

The 29-hour rotation period is unusually long for an asteroid more than 150 km in diameter.[8] Its spectral class is intermediate between the C-type and P-type asteroids.[6]

10µ radiometric data collected from Kitt Peak in 1975 gave a diameter estimate of 255 km.[9] An occultation of Bamberga was observed on 8 December 1987, and gave a diameter of about 228 km, in agreement with IRAS results. In 1988 a search for satellites or dust orbiting this asteroid was performed using the UH88 telescope at the Mauna Kea Observatories, but the effort came up empty.[10]

In fiction[edit]

See Asteroids in fiction.


  1. ^ a b c d e "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 324 Bamberga". 2008-07-26 last obs. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Carry, B. (December 2012), "Density of asteroids", Planetary and Space Science, 73, pp. 98–118, Bibcode:2012P&SS...73...98C, arXiv:1203.4336Freely accessible, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2012.03.009.  See Table 1.
  3. ^ a b c Tedesco, E.F.; Noah, P.V.; Noah, M.; Price, S.D. (2004). "IRAS Minor Planet Survey. IRAS-A-FPA-3-RDR-IMPS-V6.0.". NASA Planetary Data System. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  4. ^ Pitjeva, E. V. (2005). "High-Precision Ephemerides of Planets—EPM and Determination of Some Astronomical Constants" (PDF). Solar System Research. 39 (3): 176. Bibcode:2005SoSyR..39..176P. doi:10.1007/s11208-005-0033-2. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2008-10-31. 
  5. ^ Harris, A. W.; Warner, B.D.; Pravec, P., eds. (2006). "Asteroid Lightcurve Derived Data. EAR-A-5-DDR-DERIVED-LIGHTCURVE-V8.0.". NASA Planetary Data System. Archived from the original on 2007-01-28. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  6. ^ a b Neese, C., ed. (2005). "Asteroid Taxonomy.EAR-A-5-DDR-TAXONOMY-V5.0.". NASA Planetary Data System. Archived from the original on 2007-03-10. Retrieved 2007-03-15. 
  7. ^ Donald H. Menzel & Jay M. Pasachoff (1983). A Field Guide to the Stars and Planets (2nd ed.). Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin. p. 391. ISBN 0-395-34835-8. 
  8. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Search Engine: diameter > 150 (km) and rot_per > 24 (h)". JPL Solar System Dynamics. Retrieved 2015-06-06. 
  9. ^ Morrison, D.; Chapman, C. R. (March 1976), "Radiometric diameters for an additional 22 asteroids", Astrophysical Journal, 204, pp. 934–939, Bibcode:2008mgm..conf.2594S, doi:10.1142/9789812834300_0469. 
  10. ^ Gradie, J.; Flynn, L. (March 1988), "A Search for Satellites and Dust Belts Around Asteroids: Negative Results", Abstracts of the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, 19, pp. 405–406, Bibcode:1988LPI....19..405G. 

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