|Discovered by||E. F. Helin|
|Discovery site||Palomar Obs.|
|Discovery date||22 August 1987|
|MPC designation||4897 Tomhamilton|
|Thomas William Hamilton
(of the Apollo program)
|1987 QD6 · 1971 QV1
1971 SB1 · 1990 BN1
|Orbital characteristics |
|Epoch 13 January 2016 (JD 2457400.5)|
|Uncertainty parameter 0|
|Observation arc||65.34 yr (23,867 days)|
|5.34 yr (1,950 days)|
4897 Tomhamilton (provisional designation: 1987 QD6) is a Main Belt minor planet. It was discovered by Eleanor F. Helin at the Palomar Observatory on August 22, 1987. Research shows that it was previously recorded on photographs taken as early as 1950, and was even logged as 1971 QV1. It is named after Thomas Wm. Hamilton, an American (born San Francisco, 1939) who was a child actor (he played Barnaby in Barnaby and Mr. O'Malley and was on the early television show Mr. I-Magination). As an adult he worked on the Apollo program, determining fuel requirements and radar accuracy requirements for lunar orbit rendezvous. He later worked as an astronomy educator and planetarium director, and is the author of a time travel adventure novel, Time for Patriots (ISBN 978-1-60693-224-7), an anthology of fantasy, science fiction and satire The Mountain of Long Eyes (ISBN 978-1-62212-028-4), and five books on astronomical topics: Useful Star Names (ISBN 978-1-61204-614-3), Our Neighbor Stars (ISBN 978-1-61897-132-6), Moons of the Solar System (ISBN 978-1-62516-175-8), Dwarf Planets and Asteroids (ISBN 978-1-62857-728-0), and Impact Craters of Earth (ISBN 978-1-63135-353-6). Hamilton and Helin were acquainted, as he had interviewed her at an astronomical conference for a cable television show he was producing at the time.
- eccentricity 0.126
- semimajor axis 3.0527658 AU
- perihelion 2.669 AU
- aphelion 3.437 AU
- inclination to ecliptic 11.07 degrees
- period 5.33 Earth years
This asteroid was at opposition on January 11, 2011 (coinciding with Hamilton's 72nd birthday) at a distance of 2.476 astronomical units. Given the moderately elliptical orbit, this asteroid can on rare occasions reach an apparent magnitude from Earth of about +10.9. Size, shape, density, and rotational period are not yet known. A diameter of 30 to 35 miles (roughly 50 kilometers) is reasonable based on magnitude and a likely albedo.
- "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 4897 Tomhamilton (1987 QD6)" (2015-12-18 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved February 2016.
- "4897 Tomhamilton (1987 QD6)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved February 2016.
- Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB), query form (info)
- Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, Google books
- Asteroids and comets rotation curves, CdR – Observatoire de Genève, Raoul Behrend
- Discovery Circumstances: Numbered Minor Planets (1)-(5000) – Minor Planet Center
- 4897 Tomhamilton at the JPL Small-Body Database
|This article about an asteroid native to the asteroid belt is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|