5040 Rabinowitz

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5040 Rabinowitz
Discovery [1]
Discovered by T. Gehrels
Discovery site Palomar Obs.
Discovery date 15 September 1972
MPC designation (5040) Rabinowitz
Named after
David Rabinowitz
(American astronomer)[2]
1972 RF · 1987 QE
main-belt · Phocaea[3][4]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 46.20 yr (16,874 days)
Aphelion 2.9644 AU
Perihelion 1.8705 AU
2.4174 AU
Eccentricity 0.2263
3.76 yr (1,373 days)
0° 15m 43.92s / day
Inclination 24.361°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 6.41 km (calculated)[3]
4.472±0.001 h[5]
4.6901±0.0004 h[a]
4.691±0.001 h[6]
0.23 (assumed)[3]
12.73±0.13 (R)[a] · 12.9[1] · 13.15±0.35[7] · 13.18[3]

5040 Rabinowitz, provisional designation 1972 RF, is a stony Phocaea asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 6 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered by Dutch–American astronomer Tom Gehrels at Palomar Observatory on 15 September 1972.[8] Contrary to most of his discoveries, this asteroid is unrelated to the Palomar–Leiden survey and exclusively credited to Tom Gehrels.

Orbit and classification[edit]

The stony S-type asteroid is a member of the Phocaea family (701), a group of asteroids with similar orbital characteristics, named after its largest member, 25 Phocaea.[4] It orbits the Sun in the inner main-belt at a distance of 1.9–3.0 AU once every 3 years and 9 months (1,373 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.23 and an inclination of 24° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] A first precovery was taken at the discovering observatory in 1971, extending the body's observation arc by one year prior to its official discovery observation.[8]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Rotation period[edit]

In July 2013, a rotational lightcurve for this asteroid was obtained from photometric observations by Czech astronomer Petr Pravec at the Ondřejov Observatory. The well-defined lightcurve gave a rotation period of 4.6901±0.0004 hours with a brightness variation of 0.33 in magnitude (U=3).[a]

During the same opposition opportunity, two more lightcurves – obtained by Robert Stephens at the Center for Solar System Studies and by Maurice Clark at the Preston Gott Observatory – gave a similar period of 4.691 and 4.472 hours, with an amplitude of 0.35 and 0.31 in magnitude, respectively (U=3-/2+).[5][6]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes an albedo of 0.23, derived from the Phocaea family's namesake, and calculates a diameter of 6.4 kilometers with an absolute magnitude of 13.18.[3]


This minor planet was named after American astronomer David Rabinowitz (born 1960), a discoverer of minor planets himself and researcher at Yale University. The naming also honors his work for the Spacewatch program.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 1 September 1993 (M.P.C. 22505).[9]


  1. ^ a b c Pravec (2013): lightcurve plot of (5040) Rabinowitz with a rotation period 4.6901±0.0004 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.33 mag and an abs. magnitude of 12.73. Summary figures at Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link (CALL) and Pravec, P.; Wolf, M.; Sarounova, L. (2013)


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 5040 Rabinowitz (1972 RF)" (2017-06-04 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 20 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (5040) Rabinowitz. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 434. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (5040) Rabinowitz". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 1 November 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Clark, Maurice (April 2014). "Asteroid Photometry from the Preston Gott Observatory". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 41 (2): 100–101. Bibcode:2014MPBu...41..100C. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  6. ^ a b Stephens, Robert D.; Coley, Daniel R. (October 2013). "A Plethora of Phocaea Asteroids". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 40 (4): 203–204. Bibcode:2013MPBu...40..203S. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  7. ^ 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:1506.00762Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "5040 Rabinowitz (1972 RF)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 
  9. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 1 July 2016. 

External links[edit]