36 Atalante

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36 Atalante
Three-dimensional model of 36 Atalante created based on light-curve.
Discovered by H. Goldschmidt
Discovery date October 5, 1855
Named after
A901 SB; A912 HC
Main belt
Orbital characteristics
Epoch December 31, 2006 (JD 2454100.5)
Aphelion 535.625 Gm (3.580 AU)
Perihelion 286.217 Gm (1.913 AU)
410.921 Gm (2.747 AU)
Eccentricity 0.303
1662.831 d (4.55 a)
17.55 km/s
Inclination 18.432°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 105.6 km[1]
110.14 ± 4.38 km[2]
Mass (4.32 ± 3.80) × 1018 kg[2]
Mean density
6.17 ± 5.48 g/cm3[2]
~0.0295 m/s²
~0.0558 km/s
0.414 d (9.93 h)[1]
Albedo 0.065[1]
Temperature ~170 K
Spectral type

36 Atalante /ˌætəˈlænt/ is a large, dark main-belt asteroid. It was discovered by the German-French astronomer H. Goldschmidt on October 5, 1855, and named by French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier after the Greek mythological heroine Atalanta (of which Atalante is the German form).[3] The asteroid is also classified as a C-type one, according to the Tholen classification system.[1]

Observation of the asteroid light curve indicates it is rotating with a period of 9.93 ± 0.01 hours. During this interval, the magnitude varies by an amplitude of 0.12 ± 0.02.[4] By combining the results of multiple light curves, the approximate ellipsoidal shape of the object can be estimated. It appears to be slightly elongated, being about 28.2% longer along one axis compared to the other two.[5] Atalante was observed by Arecibo radar in October 2010.[6][7]

This asteroid shares a mean-motion resonance with the planets Jupiter and Saturn. The computed Lyapunov time for this asteroid is only 4,000 years, indicating that it occupies a highly chaotic orbit that will change randomly over time because of gravitational perturbations of the planets. This is the shortest Lyapunov time of the first 100 named asteroids.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 36 Atalante" (2011-12-30 last obs). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2012-01-23. 
  2. ^ a b c Carry, B. (December 2012), "Density of asteroids", Planetary and Space Science, 73, pp. 98–118, arXiv:1203.4336free to read, Bibcode:2012P&SS...73...98C, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2012.03.009.  See Table 1.
  3. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D.; International Astronomical Union (2003), Dictionary of minor planet names, Physics and astronomy online library, 1 (5th ed.), Springer, p. 18, ISBN 3-540-00238-3 
  4. ^ Brinsfield, James W. (September 2007), "The Rotation Periods of 36 Atalante and 416 Vaticana", The Minor Planet Bulletin, 34 (3): 58–59, Bibcode:2007MPBu...34...58B 
  5. ^ Blanco, C.; Riccioli, D. (September 1998), "Pole coordinates and shape of 30 asteroids", Astronomy and Astrophysics Supplement, 131: 385–394, Bibcode:1998A&AS..131..385B, doi:10.1051/aas:1998277 
  6. ^ Mike Nolan (2012-01-18). "Scheduled Arecibo Radar Asteroid Observations". Planetary Radar at Arecibo Observatory. Retrieved 2012-01-23. 
  7. ^ "Radar-Detected Asteroids and Comets". NASA/JPL Asteroid Radar Research. Retrieved 2012-01-23. 
  8. ^ Šidlichovský, M. (1999), Svoren, J.; Pittich, E. M.; Rickman, H., eds., "Resonances and chaos in the asteroid belt", Evolution and source regions of asteroids and comets : proceedings of the 173rd colloquium of the International Astronomical Union, held in Tatranska Lomnica, Slovak Republic, August 24–28, 1998, pp. 297–308, Bibcode:1999esra.conf..297S. 

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