279 Thule

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279 Thule
Discovered by Johann Palisa
Discovery date October 25, 1888
1927 EC, 1954 FF, A920 GA, A923 RA[1]
Asteroid belt (Thule)
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 27 August 2011 (JD 2455800.5)
Aphelion 4.3122281 AU
Perihelion 4.2329299 AU
4.2725790 AU
Eccentricity 0.0092799
8.8316810 a (3225.7715 d)
Inclination 2.33789°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 126.6 ± 3.7 km (IRAS)[1]
15.96 h[1]
Albedo 0.041[1]
Temperature 133 K
Spectral type
D (Tholen)[1]

279 Thule (/ˈθjuːl/ THEW-lee) is a large asteroid from the asteroid belt. It is classified as a D-type asteroid and is probably composed of organic-rich silicates, carbon and anhydrous silicates. Thule was the first asteroid discovered with a semi-major axis greater than 4 AU. It was discovered by Johann Palisa on October 25, 1888 in Vienna and was named aptly after the ultimate northern land of Thule.

Thule asteroids[edit]

Thule was the first discovered member of the Thule dynamical group, which as of 2008 is known to consist of three objects: 279 Thule, (186024) 2001 QG207, and (185290) 2006 UB219.[2] The orbits of these bodies are unusual. They orbit in the outermost edge of the asteroid belt in a 4:3 orbital resonance with Jupiter, the result of the periodic force Jupiter exerts on a body with Thule's orbital period, in the same way (though with the reverse effect) as the Kirkwood gaps in the more inner parts of the asteroid belt.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j NASA/JPL Small-Body Database on 279 Thule Retrieved 2011-09-22
  2. ^ Brož, M.; Vokrouhlický, D. (2008). "Asteroid families in the first-order resonances with Jupiter". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society 390 (2): 715–732. Bibcode:2008MNRAS.tmp.1068B. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13764.x. 

External links[edit]