3673 Levy

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3673 Levy
Discovery [1]
Discovered by E. Bowell
Discovery site Anderson Mesa Station
Discovery date 22 August 1985
MPC designation 3673 Levy
Named after
David H. Levy
1985 QS · 1969 ER
1978 SW5 · 1978 WN
main-belt · Flora[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 27 June 2015 (JD 2457200.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 46.76 yr (17,080 days)   
Aphelion 2.7783 AU
Perihelion 1.9136 AU
2.3459 AU
Eccentricity 0.1842
3.59 yr (1,312 days)
Inclination 7.0884°
Known satellites 1 [a]
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 6.412±0.159 km[4]
6.468 km[5]
5.80±0.20 km[6]
6.47 km (taken)[3]
2.6879±0.0005 h[7]
2.68748±0.00007 h[b]

3673 Levy, provisional designation 1985 QS, is a stony binary[a] Flora asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 6 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 22 August 1985, by American astronomer Edward Bowell at Lowell's Anderson Mesa Station in Flagstaff, Arizona.[8]

The S-type asteroid is a member of the Flora family, one of the largest groups of stony asteroids in the main-belt. It orbits the Sun at a distance of 1.9–2.8 AU once every 3 years and 7 months (1,312 days). Its orbit shows an eccentricity of 0.18 and is tilted by 7 degrees to the plane of the ecliptic.[1] It has a rotation period of 2.688 hours with a relatively low light-curve amplitude of 0.13 mag, indicating that the body's shape is nearly spheroidal.[7][b] The asteroid has an albedo of 0.23, 0.24 and 0.40, depending on different observations by the U.S. space-based Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer and its NEOWISE mission.[4][5][6]

In December 2007, astronomers from the U.S. Carbuncle Hill Observatory in Rhode Island, the Czech Ondřejov Observatory, and the Californian Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station discovered, that the asteroid is a binary asteroid having a satellite roughly 28% of its size, which translates into 1.8 kilometer for the moon's diameter. The asteroid moon orbits its primary every 21.6(7) hours.[7][b]

The minor planet was named in honor of Canadian astronomer David H. Levy (b. 1948), comet discoverer and observer, recognized for his perseverance in observing comets using the oldest visual and the newest electronic techniques. Author of several books and articles, he is known for his biographies of astronomers. As an educator Levy has concentrated on bringing observational astronomy to both amateur astronomers and to children, and he has initiated school and camp programs for this purpose.[2] David H. Levy is one of the most successful comet discoverers in history. He has discovered 22 comets, nine of them using his own backyard telescopes. With Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker at the Palomar Observatory in California he discovered Shoemaker-Levy 9, the comet that collided with Jupiter in 1994. That episode produced the most spectacular explosions ever witnessed in the solar system. Levy is currently involved with the Jarnac Comet Survey, which is based at the Jarnac Observatory in Vail, Arizona but which has telescopes planned for locations around the world.[9]


  1. ^ a b CBAT No.1165, (3673) Levy, 12 December 2007

    Photometric observations obtained during Dec. 5-9 reveal that minor planet (3673) is a binary system with an orbital period of 21.6 hr. The primary shows a period of 2.6879 +/- 0.0005 hr, and it has a lightcurve amplitude of 0.13 mag, suggesting a nearly spheroidal shape. Mutual eclipse/occultation events indicate a secondary-to-primary mean-diameter ratio of 0.28 +/- 0.03. The system's parameters need to be refined with further observations.

    reported by: D. Pray, Carbuncle Hill Observatory, Greene, RI, U.S.A.; P. Pravec and P. Kusnirak, Ondrejov Observatory; and R. Stephens, Goat Mountain Astronomical Research Station, Yucca Valley, CA, U.S.A. Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams No. 1165
  2. ^ a b c Pravec (2007) web: rotation period 2.68748±0.00007 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.13 mag. The secondary body has a orbital period of 21.67 hours. Summary figures at Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link (CALL) for (3673) Levy
  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 3673 Levy (1985 QS)" (2015-12-16 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (3673) Levy. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 309. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "LCDB Data for (3673) Levy". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c 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:1109.6407free to read. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c Pravec, Petr; Harris, Alan W.; Kusnirák, Peter; Galád, Adrián; Hornoch, Kamil (September 2012). "Absolute magnitudes of asteroids and a revision of asteroid albedo estimates from WISE thermal observations". Icarus. 221 (1): 365–387. Bibcode:2012Icar..221..365P. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2012.07.026. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c 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:1209.5794free to read. Bibcode:2012ApJ...759L...8M. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/759/1/L8. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c Pray, D.; Pravec, P.; Kusnirak, P.; Stephens, R. (December 2007). "(3673) Levy". Central Bureau Electronic Telegrams (1165). Bibcode:2007CBET.1165....1P. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "3673 Levy (1985 QS)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 6 January 2016. 
  9. ^ Roger Sinnott. "David Levy's Binary Asteroid". Sky & Telescope on-line. Retrieved May 2, 2012. 

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