458 Hercynia

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458 Hercynia
Discovery [1]
Discovered byM. F. Wolf
A. Schwassmann
Discovery siteHeidelberg Obs.
Discovery date21 September 1900
MPC designation(458) Hercynia
Named after
Hercynian Forest[2]
(ancient European forest)
1900 FK · 1947 XB
2016 FW5 · A902 CA
A915 PD
main-belt · (outer)[3]
background [4]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc116.79 yr (42,656 days)
Aphelion3.7176 AU
Perihelion2.2784 AU
2.9980 AU
5.19 yr (1,896 days)
0° 11m 23.64s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions33.70±7.94 km[5]
36.10±0.85 km[6]
36.698±0.408 km[7]
38.57 km (derived)[3]
38.75±1.0 km[8]
41.410±1.172 km[9]
42.27±0.92 km[10]
15.33±0.04 h[11]
16 h[12]
21.806±0.006 h[13]
22.3 h[14]
22.41±0.01 h[12]
Tholen = S[1]
SMASS = L[1] · L[15] · M[9]
B–V = 0.885[1]
U–B = 0.471[1]
9.63[1][6][8][10] · 9.64[3][9][14] · 9.64±0.24[16] · 9.72[5]

Hercynia (minor planet designation: 458 Hercynia), provisional designation 1900 FK, is a background asteroid from the outer regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 38 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 21 September 1900, by astronomers Max Wolf and Arnold Schwassmann at the Heidelberg-Königstuhl State Observatory in southwest Germany.[17] The asteroid was named for the ancient Hercynian Forest, known to the Romans as "Hercynia silva".[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Hercynia is a non-family asteroid of the main belt's background population.[4] It orbits the Sun in the outer asteroid belt at a distance of 2.3–3.7 AU once every 5 years and 2 months (1,896 days; semi-major axis of 3.00 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.24 and an inclination of 13° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The body's observation arc begins two days after to its official discovery observation at Heidelberg.[17]

Physical characteristics[edit]

In the Tholen classification, Hercynia is a common S-type, while in the SMASS classification it is a rare L-type asteroid.[1] Polarimetric observations also determined an L-type.[15] Alternatively, the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) characterized Hercynia as a metallic M-type asteroid.[9]

Rotation period[edit]

Several rotational lightcurves of Hercynia have been obtained from photometric observations since 1985.[3] Lightcurve analysis gave a consolidated, slightly longer-than average rotation period of 21.806 hours with a brightness amplitude between 0.10 and 0.36 magnitude (U=2/2-/3/2/2).[11][12][13][14]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite IRAS, the Japanese Akari satellite and the NEOWISE mission of NASA's WISE telescope, Hercynia measures between 33.70 and 42.27 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.1435 and 0.191.[5][6][7][8][9][10]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link adopts an albedo of 0.1654 from IRAS, and derives a diameter of 38.57 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 9.64.[3][8]


This minor planet was named after the ancient Central European Hercynian Forest, known as "Hercynia silva" to the Romans. The mountainous and dense forest stretched from the upper part of the Rhine to the Carpathian Mountains in southeastern Europe. According to Caesar, it required a nine-day journey to cross the forest. (The Black Forest located to the south of the discovering observatory is a remnant of the western part of this forest). The official naming citation was mentioned in The Names of the Minor Planets by Paul Herget in 1955 (H 50).[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 458 Hercynia (1900 FK)" (2017-07-05 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (458) Hercynia. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 52. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e "LCDB Data for (458) Hercynia". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  5. ^ 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. arXiv:1606.08923. Bibcode:2016AJ....152...63N. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/3/63. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  6. ^ 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. arXiv:1209.5794. Bibcode:2012ApJ...759L...8M. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/759/1/L8. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  7. ^ a b 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 7 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e Tedesco, E. F.; Noah, P. V.; Noah, M.; Price, S. D. (October 2004). "IRAS Minor Planet Survey V6.0". NASA Planetary Data System. Bibcode:2004PDSS...12.....T. Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  9. ^ 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" (PDF). The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  10. ^ 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 7 November 2017.
  11. ^ a b Hawkins, Scot; Ditteon, Richard (March 2008). "Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at the Oakley Observatory - May 2007". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 35 (1): 1–4. Bibcode:2008MPBu...35....1H. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  12. ^ a b c Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (458) Hercynia". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  13. ^ a b Aznar Macias, Amadeo; Carreno Garcerain, Alfonso; Arce Masego, Enrique; Brines Rodriguez, Pedro; Lozano de Haro, Juan; Fornas Silva, Alvaro; et al. (July 2016). "Twenty-one Asteroid Lightcurves at Group Observadores de Asteroides (OBAS): Late 2015 to Early 2016". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 43 (3): 257–263. Bibcode:2016MPBu...43..257A. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  14. ^ a b c Binzel, R. P. (October 1987). "A photoelectric survey of 130 asteroids". Icarus: 135–208. Bibcode:1987Icar...72..135B. doi:10.1016/0019-1035(87)90125-4. ISSN 0019-1035. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  15. ^ a b Belskaya, I. N.; Fornasier, S.; Tozzi, G. P.; Gil-Hutton, R.; Cellino, A.; Antonyuk, K.; et al. (March 2017). "Refining the asteroid taxonomy by polarimetric observations". Icarus. 284: 30–42. Bibcode:2017Icar..284...30B. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2016.11.003. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  16. ^ 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 7 November 2017.
  17. ^ a b "458 Hercynia (1900 FK)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 7 November 2017.

External links[edit]