4492 Debussy

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4492 Debussy
Discovery [1]
Discovered by E. W. Elst
Discovery site Haute-Provence Obs.
Discovery date 17 September 1988
MPC designation (4492) Debussy
Named after
Claude Debussy
(French composer)[2]
1988 SH · 1979 SZ10
1979 VF1 · 1981 EC
main-belt · (middle)
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 65.65 yr (23,977 days)
Aphelion 3.2631 AU
Perihelion 2.2692 AU
2.7662 AU
Eccentricity 0.1796
4.60 yr (1,680 days)
0° 12m 51.12s / day
Inclination 8.0241°
Known satellites 1[3][4][5]
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 13.23±3.97 km[6]
14.64 km (calculated)[7]
14.75±0.91 km[8]
16.5±1.9 km[9]
17.14±2.94 km[10]
17.359±0.697 km[11][12]
20 h[13]
26.58±0.05 h[13]
26.59 h[3]
26.6 h[9]
26.606±0.001 h[4]
0.057 (assumed)[7]
12.80[10] · 12.9[1][7][8][11] · 13.05[6] · 13.05±0.07[9] · 13.37±0.25[14]

4492 Debussy, provisional designation 1988 SH, is a carbonaceous, non-spheroidal asteroid and binary system from the middle regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 15 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 17 September 1988, by Belgian astronomer Eric Elst at Haute-Provence Observatory in France.[15] It was later named after French composer Claude Debussy.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Debussy is a dark asteroid that orbits the Sun in the middle main-belt at a distance of 2.3–3.3 AU once every 4 years and 7 months (1,680 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.18 and an inclination of 8° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] A first precovery was taken at Palomar Observatory in 1951, extending the body's observation arc by 37 years prior to its official discovery observation.[15]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by the Japanese Akari satellite, the Infrared Spectrograph of the Spitzer Space Telescope, and NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Debussy measures between 13.23 and 17.359 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.039 and 0.07.[6][8][9][10][11][12] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for carbonaceous asteroids of 0.057 and calculates a diameter of 14.64 kilometers with an absolute magnitude of 12.9.[7]

Rotation period[edit]

Between 2002 and 2016, a large number of rotational lightcurve of Debussy were obtained from photometric observations by predominantly Swiss, French and German astronomers. Best rated lightcurve analysis gave a rotation period of 26.606 hours with a brightness variation of 1.04–1.13 magnitude, which indicates that the body is highly elongated (U=3/3).[3][4][13]


In November 2002, during the first photometric observations by Swiss astronomer Raoul Behrend at Geneva Observatory in collaboration with several other European astronomers, it was revealed that Debussy is a synchronous binary system with a minor-planet moon in orbit (F-type binary). The satellite's orbital period is 26.606 hours, identical to the primary's rotation. The system's secondary-to-primary mean-diameter ratio is 0.643.[4] The Johnston archive derives a diameter of 9.39 kilometers for the moon, and estimates that it has a semi-major axis of approximately 31 kilometers.[5] After additional follow-up observations had been made, the discovery was announced on 21 March 2004.[4] The moon's provisional designation is S/2004 (4492) 1.

The collaboration of astronomers from 26 observatories also discovered satellites in orbit of the main-belt asteroids 854 Frostia, 1089 Tama and 1313 Berna.[4]


This minor planet was named in memory of French composer Claude Debussy (1862–1918), one of the most prominent figures associated with impressionist music, best known for his Clair de lune and Feux d'artifice, as well as for his piano suites Estampes (1903), Bergamasque (1890–1905) and Images (1905). He was a fervent admirer of Frédéric Chopin, after whom the asteroid 3784 Chopin was named.[2] The official naming citation was published on 4 October 1990 (M.P.C. 17031).[16]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 4492 Debussy (1988 SH)" (2017-03-29 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 4 July 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (4492) Debussy. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 387. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c Behrend, R. (June 2004). "(4492) Debussy". IAU Circ. (8354). Bibcode:2004IAUC.8354....3B. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Behrend, R.; Bernasconi, L.; Roy, R.; Klotz, A.; Colas, F.; Antonini, P.; et al. (February 2006). "Four new binary minor planets: (854) Frostia, (1089) Tama, (1313) Berna, (4492) Debussy". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 446 (3): 1177–1184. Bibcode:2006A&A...446.1177B. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20053709. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Johnston, Robert (21 September 2014). "(4492) Debussy". johnstonsarchive.net. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d Nugent, C. R.; Mainzer, A.; Bauer, J.; Cutri, R. M.; Kramer, E. A.; Grav, T.; et al. (September 2016). "NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year Two: Asteroid Diameters and Albedos". The Astronomical Journal. 152 (3): 12. Bibcode:2016AJ....152...63N. arXiv:1606.08923Freely accessible. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/3/63. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "LCDB Data for (4492) Debussy". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  8. ^ 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" (PDF). Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan. 63 (5): 1117–1138. Bibcode:2011PASJ...63.1117U. doi:10.1093/pasj/63.5.1117. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c d e Marchis, F.; Enriquez, J. E.; Emery, J. P.; Mueller, M.; Baek, M.; Pollock, J.; et al. (November 2012). "Multiple asteroid systems: Dimensions and thermal properties from Spitzer Space Telescope and ground-based observations". Icarus. 221 (2): 1130–1161. Bibcode:2012Icar..221.1130M. arXiv:1604.05384Freely accessible. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2012.09.013. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c d 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. Bibcode:2012ApJ...759L...8M. arXiv:1209.5794Freely accessible. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/759/1/L8. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  11. ^ 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. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. arXiv:1109.6407Freely accessible. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  12. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Grav, T.; Bauer, J. M.; Cutri, R. M.; Dailey, J.; et al. (November 2011). "Main Belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE. I. Preliminary Albedos and Diameters". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 20. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...68M. arXiv:1109.4096Freely accessible. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/68. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (4492) Debussy". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  14. ^ 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. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. arXiv:1506.00762Freely accessible. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  15. ^ a b "4492 Debussy (1988 SH)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 
  16. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 18 April 2017. 

External links[edit]