4769 Castalia

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4769 Castalia
Arecibo radar image showing Castalia as a contact binary
Discovered byE. F. Helin
Palomar Observatory (675)
Discovery date9 August 1989
(4769) Castalia
Named after
1989 PB
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 13 January 2016 (JD 2457400.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc9467 days (25.92 yr)
Aphelion1.5770 AU (235.92 Gm) (Q)
Perihelion0.54957 AU (82.215 Gm) (q)
1.0633 AU (159.07 Gm) (a)
Eccentricity0.48313 (e)
1.10 yr (400.46 d)
327.23° (M)
0° 53m 56.256s / day (n)
Inclination8.8863° (i)
325.59° (Ω)
121.35° (ω)
Known satellites1 contact binary
Earth MOID0.0199597 AU (2.98593 Gm)[1]
Physical characteristics
  • 1.4 km[1]
  • 1.8×0.8 km
Mean radius
0.7 km
4.095 h (0.1706 d)[1]

The asteroid 4769 Castalia /kəˈstliə/ is an asteroid, classified as near-Earth object and potentially hazardous asteroid of the Apollo group, approximately 1.4 kilometer in diameter. It was the first asteroid to be modeled by radar imaging. It was discovered on 9 August 1989, by American astronomer Eleanor Helin (Caltech) on photographic plates taken at Palomar Observatory in California. It is named after Castalia, a nymph in Greek mythology. It is also a Mars- and Venus-crosser asteroid.[1]

General information[edit]

On 25 August 1989 Castalia passed 0.0269378 AU (4,029,840 km; 2,504,020 mi)[3] (within eleven lunar distances) of Earth, allowing it to be observed with radar from the Arecibo Observatory by Scott Hudson (Washington State University) and Steven J. Ostro (JPL). The data allowed Hudson et al. to produce a three-dimensional model of the object. During the 1989 passage Castalia peaked at an apparent magnitude of 12.[4]

Castalia has a peanut shape, suggesting two approximately 800-meter-diameter pieces held together by their weak mutual gravity. Since then radar observations of other asteroids have found other contact binaries.[5]

Castalia is a potentially hazardous asteroid (PHA) because its minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) is less than 0.05 AU and its diameter is greater than 150 meters. The Earth-MOID is 0.0204 AU (3,050,000 km; 1,900,000 mi).[1] Its orbit is well-determined for the next several hundred years.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 4769 Castalia (1989 PB)". Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Castalia". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. ^ "JPL Close-Approach Data: 4769 Castalia (1989 PB)". Retrieved 17 June 2012.
  4. ^ "(4769) Castalia Ephemerides for August 1989". NEODyS (Near Earth Objects – Dynamic Site). Retrieved 20 June 2012.
  5. ^ Dr. Lance A. M. Benner (18 November 2013). "Binary and Ternary near-Earth Asteroids detected by radar". NASA/JPL Asteroid Radar Research. Retrieved 1 March 2014.

External links[edit]