4055 Magellan

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4055 Magellan
Discovery [1]
Discovered by E. Helin
Discovery site Palomar Obs.
Discovery date 24 February 1985
MPC designation (4055) Magellan
Named after
Ferdinand Magellan
(Portuguese navigator)[2]
1985 DO2 · 1988 OG
NEO · Amor[1][3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 32.40 yr (11,835 days)
Aphelion 2.4140 AU
Perihelion 1.2270 AU
1.8205 AU
Eccentricity 0.3260
2.46 yr (897 days)
0° 24m 4.68s / day
Inclination 23.251°
Earth MOID 0.2398 AU · 93.4 LD
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 2.204±0.078 km[4]
2.49 km[5]
2.781±0.147 km[6]
6.384±0.005 h[7]
7.475±0.001 h[a]
7.479±0.001 h[8]
7.4805±0.0013 h[9]
7.48202±0.0001 h[10]
7.496±0.005 h[12]
V (Tholen)[1]
V (SMASS)[1]
14.00[17] · 14.45±0.2 (R)[a] · 14.515±0.002 (R)[9] · 14.6[6] · 14.64±0.56[16] · 14.7[1] · 14.9[5][18] · 14.90±0.3[4]

4055 Magellan, provisional designation 1985 DO2, is a bright and eccentric asteroid and near-Earth object of the Amor group, approximately 2.5 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 24 February 1985, by American astronomer Eleanor Helin at Palomar Observatory in California, United States.[3] It was later named for Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Magellan (center) as seen from ground in July 2010

Magellan orbits the Sun in the inner main-belt at a distance of 1.2–2.4 AU once every 2 years and 6 months (897 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.33 and an inclination of 23° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

The first observation was made at the Australian Siding Spring Observatory, extending the asteroid's observation arc by just one month prior to its official discovery observation at Palomar.[3]

It has a minimum orbital intersection distance with Earth of 0.2398 AU (35,900,000 km), which corresponds to 93.4 lunar distances.[1]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Being a V-type asteroid in the Tholen and SMASS taxonomy, Magellan is thought to have originated from the Rheasilvia crater, a large impact crater on the south-polar surface of 4 Vesta, which is the main-belt's second-most-massive asteroid after 1 Ceres.

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to observations by the Keck Observatory and to the survey carried out by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Magellan measures between 2.2 and 2.8 kilometers in diameter and its surface has a high albedo of 0.31 to 0.33.[4][5][6] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link (LCDB) agrees with the Keck observations, adopting an albedo of 0.31 and a diameter of 2.49 kilometers.[18]


Between 2000 and 2015, six rotational lightcurves of Magellan were obtained from photometric observations by astronomers Petr Pravec and Brian D. Warner, as well as by the Mexican Asteroid Photometry Campaign and the Palomar Transient Factory. The highest rated lightcurve by LCDB's standards was obtained by French amateur astronomer David Romeuf[19] in July 2015, which gave a rotation period of 7.48202±0.0001 hours with a brightness variation of 0.45 magnitude (U=3).[10] The large variation suggests an elongated shape.


This minor planet was named after Portuguese navigator and explorer Ferdinand Magellan (Fernão de Magalhães; c. 1480–1521), who led and died on the first circumnavigation of the Earth during 1519–1522. The minor planet is also named after the modern Magellan spacecraft, which was launched by NASA in 1989 and went on to map the surface of Venus. The Portuguese navigator is also honored by the craters Magelhaens on Mars and Magelhaens on the Moon.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 2 December 1990 (M.P.C. 17466).[20]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pravec (2000) web: rotation period 7.475±0.001 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.46 mag and an undefined LCDB quality code (Pravec, P.; Wolf, M.; Sarounova, L. (2000)) Summary figures for (4055) Magellan at Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link (CALL)


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 4055 Magellan (1985 DO2)" (2017-06-17 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 19 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (4055) Magellan. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 346. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "4055 Magellan (1985 DO2)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c d Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.; Bauer, J.; Cutri, R. M.; McMillan, R. S.; et al. (November 2012). "Physical Parameters of Asteroids Estimated from the WISE 3-Band Data and NEOWISE Post-Cryogenic Survey". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 760 (1): 6. arXiv:1210.0502Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012ApJ...760L..12M. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/760/1/L12. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  5. ^ a b c d Delbó, Marco; Harris, Alan W.; Binzel, Richard P.; Pravec, Petr; Davies, John K. (November 2003). "Keck observations of near-Earth asteroids in the thermal infrared". Icarus. 166 (1): 116–130. Bibcode:2003Icar..166..116D. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2003.07.002. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  6. ^ 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 27 September 2016. 
  7. ^ Warner, Brian D. (July 2014). "Near-Earth Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at CS3-Palmer Divide Station: 2014 January-March". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 41 (3): 157–168. Bibcode:2014MPBu...41..157W. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  8. ^ Sada, Pedro V.; Navarro-Meza, Samuel; Reyes-Ruiz, Mauricio; Olguin, Lorenzo L.; Saucedo, Julio C.; Loera-Gonzalez, Pablo (April 2016). "Results of the 2015 Mexican Asteroid Photometry Campaign". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 43 (2): 154–156. Bibcode:2016MPBu...43..154S. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  9. ^ a b Waszczak, Adam; Chang, Chan-Kao; Ofek, Eran O.; Laher, Russ; Masci, Frank; Levitan, David; et al. (September 2015). "Asteroid Light Curves from the Palomar Transient Factory Survey: Rotation Periods and Phase Functions from Sparse Photometry". The Astronomical Journal. 150 (3): 35. arXiv:1504.04041Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015AJ....150...75W. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/3/75. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  10. ^ a b Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (4055) Magellan". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Garcia, Karen; Truong, T.; Hicks, M. D.; Barajas, T.; Foster, J. (May 2011). "Rotationally Resolved Photometry of the V-type Near-Earth Asteroid 4055 Magellan (1985 DO2)". American Astronomical Society. 43. Bibcode:2011AAS...21822403G. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  12. ^ Warner, Brian D. (October 2015). "Near-Earth Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at CS3-Palmer Divide Station: 2015 March-June". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 42 (4): 256–266. Bibcode:2015MPBu...42..256W. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  13. ^ Thomas, C. A.; Trilling, D. E.; Emery, J. P.; Mueller, M.; Hora, J. L.; Benner, L. A. M.; et al. (September 2011). "ExploreNEOs. V. Average Albedo by Taxonomic Complex in the Near-Earth Asteroid Population". The Astronomical Journal. 142 (3): 12. Bibcode:2011AJ....142...85T. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/142/3/85. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  14. ^ Sanchez, Juan A.; Michelsen, René; Reddy, Vishnu; Nathues, Andreas (July 2013). "Surface composition and taxonomic classification of a group of near-Earth and Mars-crossing asteroids". Icarus. 225 (1): 131–140. arXiv:1302.4449Freely accessible. Bibcode:2013Icar..225..131S. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.02.036. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  15. ^ Thomas, Cristina A.; Emery, Joshua P.; Trilling, David E.; Delbó, Marco; Hora, Joseph L.; Mueller, Michael (January 2014). "Physical characterization of Warm Spitzer-observed near-Earth objects". Icarus. 228: 217–246. arXiv:1310.2000Freely accessible. Bibcode:2014Icar..228..217T. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2013.10.004. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  16. ^ a b 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 27 September 2016. 
  17. ^ a b Carry, B.; Solano, E.; Eggl, S.; DeMeo, F. E. (April 2016). "Spectral properties of near-Earth and Mars-crossing asteroids using Sloan photometry". Icarus. 268: 340–354. arXiv:1601.02087Freely accessible. Bibcode:2016Icar..268..340C. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.12.047. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  18. ^ a b c "LCDB Data for (4055) Magellan". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  19. ^ "22717 Romeuf (1998 SF13)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 
  20. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 27 September 2016. 

External links[edit]