3548 Eurybates

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3548 Eurybates
Discovery [1]
Discovered by C. J. van Houten
I. van Houten-G.
Tom Gehrels
Discovery site Palomar Obs.
Discovery date 19 September 1973
MPC designation (3548) Eurybates
Pronunciation /jrɪˈbtz/ yoo-ri-BAY-teez
Named after
(Greek mythology)[2]
1973 SO · 1954 CB
1957 JX · 1978 EE5
1985 TZ
Jupiter trojan[1][3][4]
(Greek camp)[5]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 62.41 yr (22,797 days)
Aphelion 5.6518 AU
Perihelion 4.7309 AU
5.1914 AU
Eccentricity 0.0887
11.83 yr (4,320 days)
0° 4m 59.88s / day
Inclination 8.0594°
Jupiter MOID 0.0933 AU
Jupiter Tisserand parameter 2.9720
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 63.885±0.299 km[6][7][8]
68.40±3.92 km[9]
72.02 km (derived)[4]
72.14±4.1 km[10]
8.711±0.009 h[11]
8.73±0.01 h[12]
0.0449 (derived)[4]
B–V = 0.677±0.052[13]
V–R = 0.352±0.045[13]
V–I = 0.691±0.050[13]
9.50[9][10] · 9.55±0.30[14] · 9.7[1][4] · 9.8[7]

3548 Eurybates (/jrɪˈbtz/ yoo-ri-BAY-teez), provisional designation 1973 SO, is a carbonaceous Jupiter trojan from the Greek camp, approximately 70 kilometers in diameter. It is a target to be visited by the Lucy mission in August 2027.[8] Discovered during a follow-up campaign of the Palomar–Leiden survey in 1973, it was later named after Eurybates from Greek mythology.[3]


Eurybates was discovered on 19 September 1973, by Dutch astronomer couple Ingrid and Cornelis van Houten on photographic plates taken by Dutch–American astronomer Tom Gehrels at the U.S. Palomar Observatory in California. In 1951, it was first identified as 1954 CB at the Goethe Link Observatory, extending the asteroid's observation arc by 22 years prior to its official discovery observation at Palomar.[3]

As an anomaly, the asteroid did not receive a typical survey designation, although it was discovered in 1973, when the discovering trio of astronomers were conducting their second Palomar–Leiden Trojan survey (T-2). Since the discovery of the first Jupiter trojan, 588 Achilles, by astronomer Max Wolf in 1906, more than 6,500 Jovian asteroids have already been discovered (including unnumbered Trojans).[5]

Orbit and classification[edit]

It is a carbonaceous asteroid orbiting in the leading Greek camp at Jupiter's L4 Lagrangian point, 60° ahead of the Gas Giant's orbit (see Trojans in astronomy). It orbits the Sun at a distance of 4.7–5.7 AU once every 11 years and 10 months (4,320 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.09 and an inclination of 8° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Eurybates has been characterized as a carbonaceous C-type asteroid by both the Lucy mission team and Brian Warner's Lightcurve Data Base.[4][8]

Rotational lightcurves[edit]

Photometric observations of Eurybates during 1992 were used to build a light curve showing a rotation period of 8.711 ± 0.009 hours with a brightness variation of 0.20 ± 0.01 magnitude (U=3−).[11]

In October 2010, another rotational lightcurve was obtained from photometric observations by American astronomer Robert Stephens at the Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station (G79), California, giving a concurring period of 8.73 hours with an amplitude of 0.19 magnitude (U=2+).[12]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite IRAS, the Japanese Akari satellite, and NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Eurybates measures between 63.885 and 72.14 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.052 and 0.060.[6][7][9][10] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link agrees with IRAS, and derives an albedo of 0.0449 and a diameter of 72.02 kilometers with an absolute magnitude of 9.7.[4]


This minor planet was named after Eurybates, the Ancient hero from Greek mythology, who was a herald for the Greek armies during the Trojan War.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 28 April 1991 (M.P.C. 18138).[15]

Lucy mission target[edit]

Eurybates is planned to be visited by the Lucy spacecraft which will launch in 2021. The fly by is scheduled for 12 August 2027, and will approach the asteroid to a distance of 1000 kilometers at a velocity of 5.8 kilometers per second and a solar phase angle of 81°.[8] The mission's targets with their flyby dates are:[8][16][17]

  1. 52246 Donaldjohanson — 20 April 2025: 4 km diameter C-type asteroid in the inner main-belt, member of ~130Myr old Erigone family;
  2. 3548 Eurybates — 12 August 2027: 64 km diameter C-type Jupiter Trojan in the Greek camp at L4, largest member of the only confirmed disruptive collisional family in the Trojans;
  3. 15094 Polymele — 15 September 2027: 21 km diameter P-type Trojan at L4, likely collisional fragment;
  4. 11351 Leucus — 18 April 2028: 34 km diameter D-type slow rotator Trojan at L4;
  5. 21900 Orus — 11 November 2028: 51 km diameter D-type Trojan at L4;
  6. 617 Patroclus — 2 March 2033: P-type binary Trojan. The primary, Patroclus, has a mean diameter of 113 km and its companion, Menoetius, has a diameter of 104 km. The pair orbit at a separation of 680 km. The binary resides in the Trojan camp at L5.


  1. ^ a b c d e "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 3548 Eurybates (1973 SO)" (2016-07-10 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (3548) Eurybates. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 298. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c "3548 Eurybates (1973 SO)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "LCDB Data for (3548) Eurybates". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "List of Jupiter Trojans". Minor Planet Center. 12 March 2017. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c Grav, T.; Mainzer, A. K.; Bauer, J. M.; Masiero, J. R.; Nugent, C. R. (November 2012). "WISE/NEOWISE Observations of the Jovian Trojan Population: Taxonomy". The Astrophysical Journal. 759 (1): 10. arXiv:1209.1549Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012ApJ...759...49G. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/759/1/49. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  7. ^ 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" (PDF). The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407Freely accessible. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Levison, H. F.; Olkin, C.; Noll, K. S.; Marchi, S.; Lucy Team (March 2017). "Lucy: Surveying the Diversity of the Trojan Asteroids: The Fossils of Planet Formation" (PDF). 48th Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. Bibcode:2017LPI....48.2025L. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  9. ^ 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 13 April 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c d 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 13 April 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Mottola, Stefano; Di Martino, Mario; Erikson, Anders; Gonano-Beurer, Maria; Carbognani, Albino; Carsenty, Uri; et al. (May 2011). "Rotational Properties of Jupiter Trojans. I. Light Curves of 80 Objects". The Astronomical Journal. 141 (5): 32. Bibcode:2011AJ....141..170M. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/141/5/170. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Stephens, Robert D. (April 2010). "Trojan Asteroids Observed from GMARS and Santana Observatories: 2009 October - December". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 37 (2): 47–48. Bibcode:2010MPBu...37...47S. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c Hainaut, O. R.; Boehnhardt, H.; Protopapa, S. (October 2012). "Colours of minor bodies in the outer solar system. II. A statistical analysis revisited". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 546: 20. arXiv:1209.1896Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012A&A...546A.115H. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201219566. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  14. ^ 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:1506.00762Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  15. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 13 April 2017. 
  16. ^ Casey Dreier; Emily Lakdawalla (30 September 2015). "NASA announces five Discovery proposals selected for further study". The Planetary Society. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  17. ^ https://www.hou.usra.edu/meetings/lpsc2017/pdf/2025.pdf

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