515 Athalia

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515 Athalia
Discovery [1]
Discovered by M. F. Wolf
Discovery site Heidelberg Obs.
Discovery date 20 September 1903
MPC designation (515) Athalia
Named after
(ancient queen consort)[2]
1903 ME · 1931 TQ
1937 WO · 1937 WQ
1937 WR · 1937 YH
1953 TD · 1974 QA3
1977 CF
main-belt · (outer)
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 113.79 yr (41,562 days)
Aphelion 3.6671 AU
Perihelion 2.5797 AU
3.1234 AU
Eccentricity 0.1741
5.52 yr (2,016 days)
0° 10m 42.96s / day
Inclination 2.0376°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 32.75±10.79 km[5]
33.47±10.06 km[6]
38.22 km (SIMPS)[3]
38.80±0.66 km[7]
39.76±1.38 km[8]
41.190±0.146 km[9]
43.0±0.2 km[10]
45.280±0.399 km[11]
10.636±0.001 h[12]
0.0390 (SIMPS)[3]
Tholen = I [1]
SMASS = Cb [1] · C[3]
B–V = 0.875 [1]
U–B = 0.415 [1]
10.6[10] · 10.76±0.26[13] · 10.89[5] · 11.23[1][3][6][7][8][11]

515 Athalia, provisional designation 1903 ME, is a carbonaceous Themistian asteroid from the outer regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 40 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 20 September 1903, by German astronomer Max Wolf at the Heidelberg Observatory in southwest Germany.[14] The asteroid was named after the ancient queen consort Athaliah.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Athalia is a Themistian asteroid that belongs to the Themis family (602), a very large family of carbonaceous asteroids, named after 24 Themis.[3][4][15]:23 It orbits the Sun in the outer main belt at a distance of 2.6–3.7 AU once every 5 years and 6 months (2,016 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.17 and an inclination of 2° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The body's observation arc begins at Heidelberg with its official discovery observation in 1903.[14]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Spectral type[edit]

In the Tholen classification, no type could be assigned to Athalia since its spectrum was inconsistent as it resembled that of an S-type asteroid, while its albedo was far too low for that spectral type (it was therefore classified with an "I", for "inconsistent data").[1][16] In the SMASS classification, the asteroid is a Cb-subtype, that transitions between the carbonaceous C-type and the B-type asteroids.[1]

Rotation period[edit]

In October 2015, a rotational lightcurve of Athalia was obtained from photometric observations by American astronomer Frederick Pilcher at the Organ Mesa Observatory (G50) in New Mexico, United States. Lightcurve analysis gave a well-defined rotation period of 10.636 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.22 magnitude (U=3).[12]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by the Japanese Akari satellite, the Spitzer Space Telescope and the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Athalia measures between 32.75 and 45.28 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.0278 and 0.07.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link adopts the results obtained by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite IRAS, that is, an albedo of 0.039 and a diameter of 38.22 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 11.23.[3]


This minor planet was named after Athaliah (Athalia), the daughter of King Ahab and Queen Jezebel of Israel. The murderous queen consort of the ancient Kingdom of Judah was the only woman to ever rule the Hebrew kingdoms. The official naming citation was mentioned in The Names of the Minor Planets by Paul Herget in 1955 (H 55).[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 515 Athalia (1903 ME)" (2017-07-05 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (515) Athalia. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 55. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "LCDB Data for (515) Athalia". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 25 August 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:1606.08923Freely accessible. Bibcode:2016AJ....152...63N. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/3/63. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d Nugent, C. R.; Mainzer, A.; Masiero, J.; Bauer, J.; Cutri, R. M.; Grav, T.; et al. (December 2015). "NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year One: Preliminary Asteroid Diameters and Albedos". The Astrophysical Journal. 814 (2): 13. arXiv:1509.02522Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015ApJ...814..117N. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/814/2/117. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  7. ^ 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:1209.5794Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012ApJ...759L...8M. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/759/1/L8. Retrieved 25 August 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". Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan. 63 (5): 1117–1138. Bibcode:2011PASJ...63.1117U. doi:10.1093/pasj/63.5.1117. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c 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:1406.6645Freely accessible. Bibcode:2014ApJ...791..121M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/121. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c d Landsman, Zoe A.; Licandro, Javier; Campins, Humberto; Ziffer, Julie; de Prá, Mario; Cruikshank, Dale P. (May 2016). "The Veritas and Themis asteroid families: 5-14 mum spectra with the Spitzer Space Telescope". Icarus. 269: 62–74. Bibcode:2016Icar..269...62L. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2016.01.008. Retrieved 25 August 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. arXiv:1109.6407Freely accessible. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Pilcher, Frederick (April 2015). "Rotation Period Determination for 254 Augusta, 465 Alekto 477 Italia, 515 Athalia, and 1061 Paeonia". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 42 (2): 91–94. Bibcode:2015MPBu...42...91P. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  13. ^ 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 25 August 2017. 
  14. ^ a b "515 Athalia (1903 ME)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  15. ^ Nesvorný, D.; Broz, M.; Carruba, V. (December 2014). "Identification and Dynamical Properties of Asteroid Families" (PDF). Asteroids IV: 297–321. arXiv:1502.01628Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015aste.book..297N. doi:10.2458/azu_uapress_9780816532131-ch016. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  16. ^ David J. Tholen. "Taxonomic Classifications Of Asteroids – Notes". Retrieved 24 August 2017. 

External links[edit]