3915 Fukushima

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3915 Fukushima
Discovery [1]
Discovered byM. Yanai
K. Watanabe
Discovery siteKitami Obs.
Discovery date15 August 1988
MPC designation(3915) Fukushima
Named after
Hisao Fukushima
(Japanese amateur astronomer)[2]
1988 PA1 · 1926 GQ
1935 UL · 1935 UX
1950 QT · 1975 EX5
1977 TV7 · 1977 TW3
1979 FH1 · 1983 EM
main-belt · (inner)[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc91.05 yr (33,256 days)
Aphelion2.5392 AU
Perihelion2.3394 AU
2.4393 AU
3.81 yr (1,392 days)
0° 15m 31.32s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions20.38±1.6 km (IRAS:9)[4]
22.354±0.031 km[6]
22.82±0.38 km[7]
8.40±0.01 h[8]
9.41±0.01 h[9]
9.4177±0.0004 h[10]
9.418±0.001 h[11]
0.0561±0.010 (IRAS:9)[4]
P[6] · C[3]
12.2[3][4][6][7] · 12.3[1]

3915 Fukushima, provisional designation 1988 PA1, is a carbonaceous asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 21 kilometers in diameter.

It was discovered on 15 August 1988, by Japanese astronomers Masayuki Yanai and Kazuro Watanabe at the Kitami Observatory in eastern Hokkaido, Japan, and named after amateur astronomer Hisao Fukushima.[2][12]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Fukushima orbits the Sun in the inner main-belt at a distance of 2.3–2.5 AU once every 3 years and 10 months (1,392 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.04 and an inclination of 14° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The asteroid was first identified as 1926 GQ at Heidelberg Observatory in 1926, extending the body's observation arc by 62 years prior to its official discovery observation at Kitami.[12]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Fukushima has been characterized as a reddish P-type asteroid by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.[6] It is also an assumed C-type asteroid.[3]

Rotation period[edit]

Several high-quality rotational lightcurves were obtained from photometric observations since 2003. An observation by Brian Warner at the U.S. Palmer Divide Observatory in Colorado rendered a rotation period of 9.418±0.001 hours with a high brightness variation of 0.67 in magnitude (U=3), indicating that the body has a non-spherical shape.[11] This observation concurs with another measurement taken at the Oakley Observatory that rendered a period of 9.41±0.01 and an amplitude of 0.50 mag (U=3),[9] superseding a less accurate lightcurve produced by the PDS of 8.40 hours (U=2).[8] In 2011, an observation by René Roy gave another concurring period of 9.4177±0.0004 hours and an amplitude of 0.79 mag (U=3).[10] On 16 December 2012, the asteroid occulted the star HIP 4315 over parts of Europe and North America. At the time the body's brightness was 16.3 in magnitude (mag) and that of the star was 8.5 mag.[13]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the space-based surveys carried out by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite IRAS, the Japanese Akari satellite, and the NEOWISE mission, the asteroid has a low albedo in the range of 0.044 and 0.056 with a diameter between 20.3 and 22.8 kilometers.[4][5][6][7] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link gives preference to the results obtained by IRAS with an albedo of 0.0561 and a diameter of 20.38 kilometers.[3]


This minor planet was named in honor of Japanese researcher and amateur astronomer, Hisao Fukushima (1910–1997), known for his research in hydrodynamics. He was professor emeritus at Hokkaido University, and, as an active amateur astronomer, a member of the Hokkaido Astronomical Liaison Group.[2] The approved naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 23 December 1988 (M.P.C. 14030).[14]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 3915 Fukushima (1988 PA1)" (2017-05-01 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(3915) Fukushima". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (3915) Fukushima. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 333. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_3904. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e "LCDB Data for (3915) Fukushima". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  4. ^ 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. 12: IRAS-A-FPA-3-RDR-IMPS-V6.0. Bibcode:2004PDSS...12.....T. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  5. ^ 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:1406.6645. Bibcode:2014ApJ...791..121M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/121. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  6. ^ a b c d e f 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:1109.6407. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  7. ^ 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 5 June 2016.
  8. ^ a b Warner, Brian D. (March 2004). "Rotation rates for asteroids 875, 926, 1679, 1796, 3915, 4209, and 34817". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 31 (1): 19–22. Bibcode:2004MPBu...31...19W. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  9. ^ a b Shipley, Heath; Dillard, Alex; Kendall, Jordan; Reichert, Matthew; Sauppe, Jason; Shaffer, Nelson; et al. (September 2008). "Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at the Oakley Observatory - September 2007". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 35 (3): 99–102. Bibcode:2008MPBu...35...99S. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  10. ^ a b Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (3915) Fukushima". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  11. ^ a b Warner, Brian D. (April 2011). "Upon Further Review: VI. An Examination of Previous Lightcurve Analysis from the Palmer Divide Observatory". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 38 (2): 96–101. Bibcode:2011MPBu...38...96W. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 1 February 2016.
  12. ^ a b "3915 Fukushima (1988 PA1)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 5 June 2016.
  13. ^ Asteroid Occultation Updates
  14. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 5 June 2016.

External links[edit]