3277 Aaronson

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3277 Aaronson
Discovery [1]
Discovered byE. Bowell
Discovery siteAnderson Mesa Stn.
Discovery date8 January 1984
MPC designation(3277) Aaronson
Named after
Marc Aaronson
1984 AF1 · 1962 CF
1971 UV2 · 1982 TU2
main-belt · (outer)[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc55.24 yr (20,178 days)
Aphelion3.9927 AU
Perihelion2.2900 AU
3.1414 AU
5.57 yr (2,034 days)
0° 10m 37.2s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions19.88±0.15 km[4]
20.049±0.054 km[5]
26.64 km (calculated)[3]
9.80±0.05 h[6]
0.057 (assumed)[3]
11.4[5] · 11.5[4] · 11.6[1][3] · 11.89±0.21[7]

3277 Aaronson, provisional designation 1984 AF1, is a carbonaceous asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 20 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered by American astronomer Edward Bowell at Lowell's Anderson Mesa Station, near Flagstaff, Arizona, on 8 January 1984, and named in memory of astronomer Marc Aaronson.[8]

Orbit and classification[edit]

The C-type asteroid orbits the Sun in the outer main-belt at a distance of 2.3–4.0 AU once every 5 years and 7 months (2,034 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.27 and an inclination of 9° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] A first precovery was obtained at Goethe Link Observatory in 1962, extending the asteroid's observation arc by 22 years prior to its official discovery observation at Anderson Mesa.[8]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Rotation period[edit]

In November 2010, a rotational lightcurve for this asteroid was obtained from photometric observations made at the U.S. Shadowbox Observatory in Carmel, Indiana. It rendered a rotation period of 9.80±0.05 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.14 in magnitude (U=2+).[6]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

Based on NASA's space-based WISE and its subsequent NEOWISE mission, the asteroid has an albedo of 0.11 and 0.12, and a diameter of 19.9 and 20.0 kilometers, respectively,[4][5] while the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link (CALL) assumes a lower albedo of 0.06, which translates into a larger diameter of 26.6 kilometers, as the lower the albedo (reflectivity), the higher the body's diameter, for a given absolute magnitude (brightness).[3]


This minor planet was named in memory of American astronomer Marc Aaronson (1950–1987), killed in the dome of the 4-meter Nicholas U. Mayall Telescope of the Kitt Peak National Observatory. His fields of research included the detection the decelerative effect of the Virgo cluster on the Hubble flow, observations of carbon stars in the globular clusters in the Magellanic clouds, and measurement of the large velocity dispersion in dwarf spheroidal galaxies, suggesting that all galaxies do have dark matter halos.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 11 July 1987 (M.P.C. 12016).[9]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 3277 Aaronson (1984 AF1)" (2017-05-04 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 17 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(3277) Aaronson". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (3277) Aaronson. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 273. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_3278. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (3277) Aaronson". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  4. ^ 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 14 January 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d 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. Retrieved 14 January 2016.
  6. ^ a b Ruthroff, John C. (April 2011). "Lightcurve Analysis of Eight Main-belt Asteroids and a Revised Period for 185 Eunike". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 38 (2): 86–88. Bibcode:2011MPBu...38...86R. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 14 January 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 26 April 2016.
  8. ^ a b "3277 Aaronson (1984 AF1)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  9. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 April 2016.

External links[edit]