78816 Caripito

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78816 Caripito
Discovery [1]
Discovered by J. Dellinger
Discovery site Needville Obs.
Discovery date 4 August 2003
MPC designation (78816) Caripito
Named after
(Venezuelan town)[2]
2003 PZ9
main-belt (outer)
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 63.49 yr (23,190 days)
Aphelion 3.8477 AU
Perihelion 2.4372 AU
3.1424 AU
Eccentricity 0.2244
5.57 yr (2,035 days)
0° 10m 36.84s / day
Inclination 5.6195°
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
5 km (calculated at 0.05)[3]
5.328±0.129 km[4]

78816 Caripito, provisional designation 2003 PZ9, is a background asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 5 kilometers in diameter. The asteroid was discovered on 4 August 2003, by American amateur astronomer and professor of geophysics, Joseph Dellinger at the Needville Observatory in Texas, United States.[5] It was named for the town of Caripito in Venezuela.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Caripito orbits the Sun in the outer main-belt at a distance of 2.4–3.8 AU once every 5 years and 7 months (2,035 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.22 and an inclination of 6° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The first precovery was taken at Palomar Observatory Digitized Sky Survey in 1953, extending the asteroid's observation arc by 50 years prior to its official discovery observation.[5]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the survey carried out by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Caripito measures 5.3 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.052.[4] This low albedo is typical for asteroids in the outer main-belt, which are mostly of a carbonaceous rather than of a silicaceous composition. Based on an absolute magnitude of 15.4, and assuming an albedo of 0.05, the asteroid's generic diameter measures between 2 and 5 kilometers.[3]

As of 2016, the Caripito's spectral type, rotation period and shape remain unknown.[1][6]


This minor planet is named for the Venezuelan town of Caripito in the northeastern Monagas State. It was the place where the parents of the discoverer, Thomas Baynes Dellinger (born 1926) and María de la Garza Cantú (born 1928), met in 1949. At the time, the town was a base camp for the country's rich Quiriquire oil field.[2] The approved naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 18 September 2005 (M.P.C. 54829).[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 78816 Caripito (2003 PZ9)" (2017-03-04 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 28 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2006). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (78816) Caripito, Addendum to Fifth Edition: 2003–2005. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 232. ISBN 978-3-540-34361-5. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  3. ^ a b "Absolute Magnitude (H)". NASA/JPL. Retrieved 5 August 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Grav, T.; Bauer, J. M.; Cutri, R. M.; Dailey, J.; et al. (November 2011). "Main Belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE. I. Preliminary Albedos and Diameters". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 20. arXiv:1109.4096Freely accessible. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...68M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/68. Retrieved 2 December 2016. 
  5. ^ a b "78816 Caripito (2003 PZ9)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  6. ^ "LCDB Data for (78816) Caripito". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 28 June 2017. 
  7. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 

External links[edit]