Talk:List of exceptional asteroids

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Number column[edit]

I don't understand what the number column means. CGS 23:12, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC).

I've decided to tackle a requested article: List of asteroids in our Solar System. Currently I've only put ten asteroids into the article, to see how it looks. As this is a massive article which will take much time over the next few months (it's a little tedious...can't say I'll be slaving at it hours at a time), I want to make sure people like what I've got up. If someone has a simple suggestion, I'm happy to take it. If you've got a complex suggestion....hey, I'd be happy if someone helped me with this. :) Anyway, look at the article if you have the chance, and please drop a note on its talk page or mine to tell me how it looks. I appreciate it! Jwrosenzweig 23:09, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)

I think it looks good. Consider adding the following minor statements: 1) that these are only the known asteroids; 2) Listed are X largest (change as your list expands); and 3) a statement about the range in sizes from largest to pretty darn small and maybe not observable? - Marshman 23:17, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Marshman, thanks for the comments! I do note in the article currently that the asteroids listed (at present) are the ten largest, so I guess I think #2's dealt with. Would you suggest a more prominent calling of attention to the number? I'm open. Known...I meant to insert that. Should I alter the page's title, actually? I don't care for it much now...may List of known asteroids in our solar system would be adequate? Range in sizes....I'm kind of inclined, personally, to let that kind of discussion happen at asteroid, but it's a good point. I guess I wouldn't put it in, but if you feel like it belongs, I'd welcome you adding a few sentences on the topic. :-) Oh, and sorry about postig tihs at the Village Pump...didn't know about this page until now. Thanks for moving it! Jwrosenzweig 23:42, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Yes, I'd change that to 20 largest when you have 20, 30 largest....etc. I can look for my No. 3 statement and add for you afrter it is settle about where list should go. Seems like a new page would not hurt for this listing, but keep your intro paragraph with the new page explaining the list. - Marshman 03:30, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Looks okay to me. I'd say what "Number" means and possibly also include the average distance in AU from the Sun (or whatever seems most relevant... one or two more columns at most, probably). Daniel Quinlan 23:49, Sep 24, 2003 (UTC)
Thanks, Daniel! I'd thought of that with "Number" already but hadn't figured out what to say: I'll have to think of a concise explanation for asteroidal (is that a word?) numbering. Thanks also for the added column suggestions: I hadn't wanted to make a too-large table (I know they are feared by many), but wondered what kind of info was reasonably necessary. AU is a good choice: I'll add that tomorrow, unless some enterprising individual beats me to it. :-) Thanks again, Jwrosenzweig 23:59, 24 Sep 2003 (UTC)
Okay, feeling a little stupid right now. I went to asteroid in search of a good paragraph on asteroidal numbering....turns out if I'd read the article before starting this enterprise (or had the person who requested the list long ago done so) I'd know there was already a reasonably comprehensive table of major asteroids, right there in the asteroid article. I ought to have checked, but (silly me) trusted Wikipedia:Requested articles implicitly. So, methinks I ought to just move the table from asteroid over to the article I've been working on. Or should I just humanely kill the list of asteroids? I can't imagine why someone in need of the list wouldn't go to asteroid first....hmmm. Help me. Jwrosenzweig 00:03, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC)
The asteroid article is pretty long. I'd say merge their table into yours and then remove it from the asteroid article. CGS 00:22, 25 Sep 2003 (UTC).
The articles on the different asteroids have a box with basic data (supposedly with the main information one would be looking for), it might be interesting to create a table that includes all this information. Later someone would easily be able to create the boxes for new articles with a script similar to Australian states table generator -- User:Docu
Well, if you want to do the complete list you will have a loooooooot of work. Soon it will 100.000 numbered asteroids, the number of named asteroids is also in the 10.000s, and there are still many more asteroids already discovered which only need more observation to finalize their orbital parameters, and then to receive a number. I would suggest not to aim at a complete list, but instead do lists like List of asteroids bigger than 500km, List of trans-neptunian asteroids, List of asteroids with noteworthy names, List of asteroids with noteworthy orbits, List of troyan asteroids, and so on. But as long as we only have a few articles on specific asteroids one list might be enough.
Of course having an article on every asteroid would be very nice - it have one great book which gives the discovery history and the origin of the name for every named asteroid, however sadly it is 150 Euro. ISBN 3540002383 if anyone needs a big project to work on ;-) andy 08:05, 1 Oct 2003 (UTC)
You should consider combining all of those lists under the name List of noteworthy asteroids. As far as the individual articles are concerned, it might be interesting to add more data to the standard table. You could calculate, for instance, the acceleration due to gravity at the surface of the asteroid. -Smack 05:19, 12 Oct 2003 (UTC)
Considering the extreme irregularity of most asteroids I suspect that "surface gravity" won't be a very meaningful value - it'll vary widely among various locations on the asteroid's surface. Perhaps escape velocity would be a more useful measure? Bryan

What are the criteria for the 'other noteworthy asteroids' section? There are several I've never heard of in there, and yet others that are significant that aren't. Notably other asteroids visited by spacecraft, such as Braille, Annefrank, and in the future, Itokawa. Besides those, there are quite a few other unusual asteroids not listed. Is there any particular reason for the ones that were listed? --Patteroast 00:48, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)

624 Hektor should probably be in the "largest asteroids" table, I think, but I'm a little unsure. It's a Jupiter trojan, so its orbital radius is equal to Jupiter's rather than being definitely inside or outside its orbit. Also, its dimensions are listed as 370 × 195 km, so I'm not exactly sure what to count its diameter as. Bryan 15:47, 18 Mar 2004 (UTC)

I agree. I'm thinking that Jupiter was marked as the dividing line as to leave out any Centaurs or KBO's, but the Trojans seem much more related to the main asteroid belt. Also, I'd use the average of the dimensions to order it in the list. (282.5 km for Hektor, using 370 x 195.) --Patteroast 00:07, 6 Apr 2004 (UTC)

Some of the asteroid sizes don't match the ones on the indivuidual name page.

SpookyMulder 14:32, 17 Aug 2004 (UTC)

That's probably because they're from different sources. Astronomy is sometimes a very approximate science.
Urhixidur 03:27, 2004 Aug 18 (UTC)
This is a bit of a late comment, but some of the differences in diameters is enough to change the order of the list. --Patteroast 09:17, 12 Dec 2004 (UTC)


<Jun-Dai 07:07, 29 Dec 2004 (UTC)>Perhaps it's time to add a table for asteroids that make it to 1+ on the Torino scale?</Jun-Dai>

Asteroids with unusual names[edit]

What about a section for asteroids with unusual, esoteric, or interesting names? For example 3834 Zappafrank and 3568 ASCII. CyborgTosser (Only half the battle) 07:28, 27 Apr 2005 (UTC)

That'd be really interesting! Go for it! --Menchi 12:12, 13 July 2005 (UTC)
One's interesting name is another's boring one. 3834 Zappafrank is just one of several thousands of asteroids that bear people names. 4321 Zero or 46610 Bésixdouze, on the other hand, do have interesting names. Nevertheless, have at it, CyborgTosser.
Urhixidur 22:59, 2005 July 13 (UTC)


Should Europa be further down the size list? Listed as 289km on its own page. kwami 19:29, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Sounds good. 'Course, the question with that list is how to sort them? e.g. check out the size of Hektor Deuar 20:47, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
Presumably by volume. Yes, Hector's odd. My question on Europa was more one of which figure was more reliable. kwami 21:20, 19 December 2005 (UTC)
They seem to be all over the place from 278km (occultation) to 312km ("the nine planets"). The IRAS diameter was 302.5km, so that's probably where the value in the list comes from. This paper gives axis rations a/b=1.15 b/c=1.3, but claims a diameter of 310km (unrferenced, naturally!). Using these axes, and the IRAS diameter we would have 360×315×240 km. Overall the 300km value seems more reliable, I think Deuar 19:24, 20 December 2005 (UTC)


I'm thinking of nominating this as a featured list. However, I know that it won't pass as a candidate without references. Have some of the external links here been used as references? If so, they should be in a section headed as such. If they haven't been used as references, then what has? --OpenToppedBus - Talk to the driver 14:34, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

I suspect that the lion's share of the information there comes directly from the individual asteroid pages. Deuar 21:37, 21 December 2005 (UTC)

Minor planets[edit]

What is "other noteworthy minor planets" doing here? Clearly this article does not consider Kuiper Belt objects to be asteroids (and if it did, the other sections are wildly wrong). This being so, having a section for "minor planets" which includes them is like having an article "list of noteworthy busses" with a section "other noteworthy vehicles" and putting trucks in it. Ken Arromdee 14:21, 3 October 2006 (UTC)

I agree - how about we remove all objects beyong the orbit of Jupiter from that list. Deuar 15:57, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
By the way, the Retrograde and high-inclination asteroids table also appears to be full of Damocloids and Trans-Neptunians. Deuar 16:37, 4 October 2006 (UTC)
There's also a link to 2004 FU162 in the close approaches section. This one isn't an asteroid either; its own page says that it a "meteoroid" because its size is too small. Ken Arromdee 17:12, 7 October 2006 (UTC)
Indeed! After checking out the list, and consulting a magnitude chart, it seems that almost all of them are in the "big meteoroid" category. Hence, I've separarted the list into "asteroid" and "meteoroid" parts.
Also, i've renamed the "high inclination etc" section to make it clear that it includes damocloids. I thought about removing them, but stayed my hand because during their perihelion they do move through the inner solar system where the undisputed asteroids are found. Deuar 18:35, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
Okay, so since no-one is complaining, I propose we cull all objects that do not cross Jupiter's orbit at perihelion from the "some other noteworthy minor planets" table, and rename it to "some other noteworthy asteroids". Deuar 18:38, 8 October 2006 (UTC)
I have done this now. For reference, the removed bodies are listed below:
2060 Chiron 170 October 18, 1977 First Centaur to be discovered and first asteroid to receive comet designation
(15760) 1992 QB1   August 30, 1992 First trans-Neptunian object
(15874) 1996 TL66   October 9, 1996 First recognised scattered disk object and first asteroid to be co-discovered by four people
(48639) 1995 TL8   October 15, 1995 Earliest discovered scattered disk object
90377 Sedna 1180–1800 November 14, 2003 First object found beyond the Kuiper belt
2001 QR322 230 January 2003 First known Neptune Trojan asteroid
1993 RO   September 16, 1993 First plutino (barring Pluto itself)
Deuar 17:36, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

I added 2004 XP14 to the list of close approach record setting asteroids since it is large enough to do destruction if it hits and it did come much closer than 4581 Asclepius in 1989. -- Kheider 04:55, 30 October 2006 (UTC)

Great to keep it up to date! Deuar 15:44, 8 November 2006 (UTC)

Retrograde asteroids[edit]

The article says eight of these are known, but lists only six. What are the other two? RandomCritic 17:45, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

And is it still eight, in fact? Deuar 22:18, 16 October 2006 (UTC)

criteria for list of largest asteroids[edit]

The first table "largest known asteroids" includes the largest ones, and then a motley but not exhaustive assemblage of part of the large ones. It'd be good to define

  1. a cutoff point (how about 200 km geometric mean diameter, although this would include another 10 or so)
  2. an ordering (by geometric mean diameter, or by longest dimension? (as currently) )

Any comments, suggestions? Deuar 19:42, 23 November 2006 (UTC)

This section is redundant with the article List of asteroids by size. Why keep both ? It is the same format of list, but the contents have some differences. Anyone willing to make an update will not necessarily consider modifying both, so that one of them will stay outdated.--Spoirier (talk) 06:33, 23 June 2009 (UTC)

List of asteroids by size appears to be a copy of this article since it was just created on June 3rd. I think it should be a re-direct to this article.-- Kheider (talk) 09:09, 23 June 2009 (UTC)


The article is still very confused about whether objects outside the asteroid belt count as asteroids. If they count, then many sections of this are wildly wrong; for instance, the largest "asteroid" is Eris, not Ceres. If they don't count, then they should not be in the "slow rotating objects" and "Retrograde and high-inclination asteroids and damocloids" lists; in fact, if they don't count, it's difficult to see why we include SDOs and damocloids at all. I understand that the names for these lists allow non-asteroids to be included, but it isn't clear then why they're on the page at all given that it's explicitly about asteroids.

Perhaps this page should be changed to "list of noteworthy minor planets" with separate sections "list of largest asteroids" and "list of largest minor planets". Ken Arromdee 19:15, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

True indeed. I've renamed some sections for improved description of what is in them, but it's a mess. I'm happy to rename. By the way, maybe it should be "lists of ..." rather than "list of ..."? Deuar 14:25, 15 December 2006 (UTC)
I don't think that really fixes it. The page is still titled "list of noteworthy asteroids", not "list of noteworthy small solar system objects". It's still like a page saying "list of busses" with a truck listing on the page. Also, as far as I can tell, the "spacecraft targets" section is all within the orbit of Jupiter, which means either it needs to be "spacecraft targets (within the orbit of Jupiter)" or Pluto should be added as a target of New Horizons.
And while the titles now say "minor planets", the text often still reads "asteroids". (And changing the text would be very awkward in some cases.) Ken Arromdee 21:12, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Other 'notable' asteroids[edit]

What about those asteroids studied by radar astronomy?--Pharos 14:47, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Adding 279 Thule[edit]

Is there cause to add an entry for the unusual 279 Thule? Thoughts? MURGH disc. 15:17, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Given it's 3:4 orbital resonance, I see no reason not to list it under "Some other noteworthy asteroids". -- Kheider 16:31, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the encouragement. Had a go. MURGH disc. 17:58, 5 November 2007 (UTC)

This list should be renamed[edit]

Per guidelines for lists, this page should be renamed List of asteroids. I will do this in a few days if there are no objections. -RunningOnBrains 07:37, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

I disagree. This is a list of NOTABLE asteroids. This is not a comprehensive of all asteroids. The lead mentions the List of asteroids. -- Kheider (talk) 16:38, 7 April 2008 (UTC)
Non-starter, given the existing List of asteroids. I agree the current name is suboptimal. But what would be a good name? List of extraordinary asteroids? Probably not ...
I guess this article is really a collection of lists of largest, brightest, target, close-approaching, etc asteroids. But that's rather a mouthful ... — the Sidhekin (talk) 17:01, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

When the page was moved from "List of notable asteroids" on August 28th, I did not really think it was a great idea, but I just shrugged my shoulders. Some of the objects this page are not part of the main belt: Jupiter Trojans like 624 Hektor, retrograde asteroids like 20461 Dioretsa and (65407) 2002 RP120, unstable centaurs like 2060 Chiron and 60558 Echeclus. -- Kheider (talk) 01:50, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Why only "cis-Jovian" objects included?[edit]

I don't understand why the list of largest asteroids (and other lists) only includes cis-Jovian objects. It makes sense not to include TNOs because they would completely dominate the list (also, they are listed elsewhere). But IMO this list should include all "cis-Neptunian" asteroids (meaning: all asteroids which are closer to the Sun than Neptune on average). Can someone knowledgeable update the list accordingly? --Roentgenium111 (talk) 15:34, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

If we go with cis-Neptunian, only centaur (asteroid) 10199 Chariklo would be big enough to be added to the list. TNOs should not be added to the list because their diameters are poorly known and they would not be listed in the proper order. -- Kheider (talk) 15:50, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Okay, so I will add Chariklo (and change the header accordingly) if noone disagrees.--Roentgenium111 (talk) 16:11, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
Why is Chariklo still not listed? The recent revelation about its rings [1] certainly makes it one of the most notable asteroids in recent memory, and according to this comment chain, it should have been on this list since 2008! (talk) 18:57, 27 March 2014 (UTC)
Because it is not an asteroid, it's a centaur. Asteroids = minor planets within and up to the orbit of Jupiter. If this is moved to "List of notable minor planets", then it must be included. --JorisvS (talk) 19:30, 27 March 2014 (UTC)

Orphaned references in List of notable asteroids[edit]

I check pages listed in Category:Pages with incorrect ref formatting to try to fix reference errors. One of the things I do is look for content for orphaned references in wikilinked articles. I have found content for some of List of notable asteroids's orphans, the problem is that I found more than one version. I can't determine which (if any) is correct for this article, so I am asking for a sentient editor to look it over and copy the correct ref content into this article.

Reference named "Pitjeva05":

I apologize if any of the above are effectively identical; I am just a simple computer program, so I can't determine whether minor differences are significant or not. AnomieBOT 23:54, 5 September 2011 (UTC)

'Rank' is largely meaningless[edit]

I've deleted the 'rank' column from the list of largest asteroids. Since it orders the same as diameter, it doesn't add anything. It's rather silly to assert that Hebe, at 186 km, is larger than Psyche, also at 186 km, esp. since they're both probably off by 10's of km. After the first 4 (and even between 2 & 3), we can have no confidence in the order of the table: look how Europa jumped up to #6 recently. — kwami (talk) 07:30, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

Talk:List of minor planets#Delete?[edit]

Chrisrus, is debating that List of minor planets should be deleted and merged with List of notable asteroids. See: Talk:List of minor planets#Delete?. -- Kheider (talk) 17:14, 13 October 2013 (UTC)

extremes of inclination[edit]

Minor planets with orbital inclinations greater than 90° and less than 270° orbit in a retrograde direction.

Is there ever a reason to describe inclination as more than 180°? —Tamfang (talk) 06:42, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Probably not. But I think someone comes a long and changes that every year or so. -- Kheider (talk) 11:02, 26 October 2014 (UTC)

Of those bodies with inclination near 90°, are any prograde with respect to the Ecliptic and retrograde to the invariable plane, or vice versa? —Tamfang (talk) 23:39, 18 December 2014 (UTC)

Smallest asteroid[edit]

The smallest asteroid is the one that measures exactly 1 meter in diameter because anything smaller is a meteoroid. And since size is a function of albedo, the estimated sizes are generally only accurate to within a factor of ~2 for asteroids less than ~200 meters in diameter. -- Kheider (talk) 14:01, 17 December 2014 (UTC)

Most massive: please add one or two asteroids[edit]

Ceres is a massive asteroid. Indeed, it is more massive than the total of the 2nd to nth. Obvious question in there (n?), which should be answered by the list of most massive asteroids. But Ceres scores 939.3, and the total of the others is 928.656: just too small to answer the question. Adding one or two more asteroids to that table should make the question answerable. Please could somebody with access to reliable data consider doing so? JDAWiseman (talk) 17:49, 14 October 2015 (UTC)

Leave out the Plutinos[edit]

Plutinos are not normally considered to be asteroids. I recommend removing them from this article. Who's with me? Ordinary Person (talk) 06:16, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Article says “For the purposes of this article "asteroid" means minor planet up to the orbit of Jupiter”, which seems to exclude Plutinos. Which Plutinos have crept in? JDAWiseman (talk) 07:30, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

2001 KX76 was in there at the time I made this edit, but has since been removed.Ordinary Person (talk) 11:53, 7 February 2016 (UTC)