|Discovered by||Palomar–Leiden survey
C. J. van Houten, I. van Houten-Groeneveld
|Discovery site||Palomar Obs.|
|MPC designation||6344 P-L|
|Apollo, NEO, PHA|
|Orbital characteristics |
|Epoch 27 June 2015 (JD 2457200.5)|
|Uncertainty parameter 0|
|Observation arc||47.36 yr (17,298 days)|
|4.69 yr (1714.4 days)|
|Earth MOID||0.0284 AU|
6344 P–L is a small Solar System body that was discovered in the year 1960 by asteroid searchers Tom Gehrels, Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld, and Cornelis Johannes van Houten. Last seen in 1960, it was lost, but rediscovered in 2007 as 2007 RR9. In other words, it was a lost asteroid from 1960 until it was recovered and recognized as the same object by Peter Jenniskens in 2007.
The designation P–L stands for Palomar–Leiden, named after Palomar Observatory and Leiden Observatory, which collaborated on the fruitful Palomar–Leiden survey in the 1960s. Gehrels used Palomar's 48-inch Samuel Oschin telescope and shipped the photographic plates to Cornelis Johannes van Houten and Ingrid van Houten-Groeneveld at Leiden Observatory. The trio are credited with several thousand asteroid discoveries.
It is either an asteroid or dormant comet nucleus, and it has a 4.7-year orbit around the Sun. The orbit goes out as far as Jupiter's but then back in, passing as close as 0.07 AU to the Earth, making it a collision risk.
6344 P–L classifies as a potentially hazardous object (PHO) with an minimum orbit intersection distance (MOID) of 0.028 AU and an estimated diameter of about 200–500 meters (based on an absolute magnitude of 20.4). It is probably a dormant comet, although it was not outgassing at the time of its recovery.
- "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: (6344 P-L)" (2008-02-03 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved October 2015.
- Long-lost 'Potentially Hazardous Asteroid' re-located (Asian News International)
- Long-Lost, Dangerous Asteroid Is Found Again – ScienceDaily (Oct. 15, 2007)
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