Orbit of 3671 Dionysus
|Discovered by||Carolyn and Gene Shoemaker|
|Discovery site||Palomar Observatory|
|Discovery date||May 27, 1984|
|Epoch August 27, 2011 (JD 2455800.5|
|3.258283510 yr (1190.088052 d)|
Sidereal rotation period
3671 Dionysus is a small binary Amor asteroid, orbiting between Earth and the asteroid belt. It was discovered by Carolyn and Gene Shoemaker at Palomar Observatory on 27 May 1984. It is named after Dionysus, the Greek god of wine. Its provisional designation was 1984 KD. It is an outer Earth grazer because its perihelion is just within Earth's orbit.
Dionysus makes many close approaches to Earth. Its closest approach so far occurred in 1984, when Dionysus passed just 0.03047 astronomical units (4,558,000 km) from Earth. Dionysus is expected to continue to make close approaches.
In 1997, a team of astronomers at the European Southern Observatory announced that lightcurve observations indicate the presence of a small moon orbiting Dionysus. Its provisional designation is S/1997 (3671) 1. This moon measures 300 meters in diameter, and orbits 3.6 km from Dionysus with an eccentricity of 0.07 and an orbital period of 27.72 hours. From the surface of Dionysus, S/1997 (3671) 1 would have an apparent diameter of roughly 3.02 degrees.[a] For comparison, the Sun appears to be 0.5° from Earth.
- Calculated by solving the equation .