4341 Poseidon

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4341 Poseidon
Discovery [1]
Discovered byC. Shoemaker
Discovery sitePalomar Obs.
Discovery date29 May 1987
MPC designation(4341) Poseidon
Named after
(Greek mythology)[2]
1987 KF
Apollo · NEO
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc30.05 yr (10,975 days)
Aphelion3.0819 AU
Perihelion0.5881 AU
1.8350 AU
2.49 yr (908 days)
0° 23m 47.4s / day
Earth MOID0.1941 AU · 75.6 LD
Physical characteristics
Dimensions2.32 km (derived)[3]
6.262 h[4]
6.2656 h[5]
0.18 (assumed)[3]
SMASS = O[1] · O[3]
15.65[3][5] · 16.0[1] · 16.11±0.80[6]

4341 Poseidon, provisional designation 1987 KF, is a rare-type asteroid classified as near-Earth object of the Apollo group, approximately 2.3 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered by American astronomer Carolyn Shoemaker at Palomar Observatory on 29 May 1987.[7] The asteroid was named after Poseidon from Greek mythology.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Poseidon orbits the Sun at a distance of 0.6–3.1 AU once every 2 years and 6 months (908 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.68 and an inclination of 12° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

As no precoveries were taken, the asteroid's observation arc begins with its discovery in 1987.[7] Poseidon may be associated with the Taurid Complex of meteor showers.[8] It has an Earth minimum orbital intersection distance of 0.1941 AU (29,000,000 km), which corresponds to 75.6 lunar distances.[1]

Physical characteristics[edit]

In the SMASS classification, Poseidon is an O-type asteroid.[1]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes an albedo of 0.18 and derives a diameter of 2.32 kilometers with an absolute magnitude of 15.65.[3] As of 2017, no other estimates for its diameter and albedo have been published.[1][3]


In 1998, a rotational lightcurve of Poseidon was published from photometric observations made by Czech astronomer Petr Pravec at Ondřejov Observatory. It gave a period of 6.262 hours with a brightness variation of 0.08 magnitude (U=2).[4]

A second lightcurve was obtained during the Near-Earth Objects Follow-up Program which gave a concurring period of 6.2656 hours and an amplitude of 0.07 magnitude (U=2).[5] A low brightness variation typically indicates that the body has a nearly spheroidal shape.


This minor planet was named for the "God of the Sea", Poseidon, one of the Twelve Olympians in Greek mythology. He was also referred to as "Earth-Shaker" due to his role in provoking earthquakes, which were then thought to be caused by ocean waves beating on the shore. He was the brother of Zeus (see 5731 Zeus), and an enemy of the Trojans in the Trojan War.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 30 January 1991 (M.P.C. 17656).[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 4341 Poseidon (1987 KF)" (2017-06-15 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 20 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(4341) Poseidon". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (4341) Poseidon. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 372. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_4293. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (4341) Poseidon". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b Pravec, Petr; Wolf, Marek; Sarounová, Lenka (November 1998). "Lightcurves of 26 Near-Earth Asteroids". Icarus. 136 (1): 124–153. Bibcode:1998Icar..136..124P. doi:10.1006/icar.1998.5993. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Krugly, Yu. N.; Belskaya, I. N.; Shevchenko, V. G.; Chiorny, V. G.; Velichko, F. P.; Mottola, S.; et al. (August 2002). "The Near-Earth Objects Follow-up Program. IV. CCD Photometry in 1996-1999". Icarus. 158 (2): 294–304. Bibcode:2002Icar..158..294K. doi:10.1006/icar.2002.6884. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  6. ^ 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:1506.00762. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  7. ^ a b "4341 Poseidon (1987 KF)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
  8. ^ Babadzhanov, P. B. (2001). "Search for meteor showers associated with Near-Earth Asteroids". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 373 (1): 329–335. Bibcode:2001A&A...373..329B. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20010583.
  9. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 27 October 2016.

External links[edit]