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Discovery [1]
Discovered by B. A. Skiff
Discovery site Anderson Mesa Stn.
Discovery date 3 May 1984
MPC designation (3325) TARDIS
Named after
(fictional time machine)[2]
1984 JZ · 1958 VB1
1969 TP3 · 1975 VC8
1975 WF1
main-belt[1] · (outer)
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 58.56 yr (21,390 days)
Aphelion 3.2299 AU
Perihelion 3.1397 AU
3.1848 AU
Eccentricity 0.0142
5.68 yr (2,076 days)
0° 10m 24.24s / day
Inclination 22.221°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 28.238±0.469[4]
29.66±1.2 km (IRAS:9)[5]
0.0553±0.005 (IRAS:9)[5]

3325 TARDIS, provisional designation 1984 JZ, is a dark Alauda asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 29 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 3 May 1984, by American astronomer Brian Skiff at Lowell's Anderson Mesa Station, Arizona, in the United States.[6] The asteroid was named for the TARDIS from the sci-fi TV series Doctor Who.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

TARDIS is a member of the Alauda family (902),[3] a large family of typically bright carbonaceous asteroids and named after its parent body, 702 Alauda.[7]:23

It orbits the Sun in the outer main-belt at a distance of 3.1–3.2 AU once every 5 years and 8 months (2,076 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.01 and an inclination of 22° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] In 1958 it was first identified as 1958 VB1 at the Goethe Link Observatory, extending the body's observation arc by 26 years prior to its official discovery at Anderson Mesa.[6]

Physical characteristics[edit]

According to the survey carried out by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite IRAS and NASA's NEOWISE mission, TARDIS measures 28.2 and 29.7 kilometers in diameter, and its surface has a low albedo of 0.055 and 0.067, respectively.[4][5] An albedo between 0.05 and 0.06 is typical for carbonaceous asteroids of the outer main-belt. As of 2016, no rotational lightcurves have been obtained and the asteroid's period and shape still remains unknown.


It is named after the acronym TARDIS (Time And Relative Dimensions In Space), the space and time travel vehicle used by the Doctor in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The fictional time machine looks like a London police telephone box from the 1960s.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 11 March 1990 (M.P.C. 16041).[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 3325 TARDIS (1984 JZ)" (2017-06-04 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 17 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (3325) TARDIS. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 277. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 7 November 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:1406.6645Freely accessible. Bibcode:2014ApJ...791..121M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/121. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Tedesco, E. F.; Noah, P. V.; Noah, M.; Price, S. D. (October 2004). "IRAS Minor Planet Survey V6.0". NASA Planetary Data System. Bibcode:2004PDSS...12.....T. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "3325 TARDIS (1984 JZ)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 1 March 2016. 
  7. ^ Nesvorný, D.; Broz, M.; Carruba, V. (December 2014). "Identification and Dynamical Properties of Asteroid Families" (PDF). Asteroids IV: 297–321. arXiv:1502.01628Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015aste.book..297N. doi:10.2458/azu_uapress_9780816532131-ch016. Retrieved 7 November 2017. 
  8. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 21 May 2016. 

External links[edit]