279 Thule

Last updated
279 Thule
Discovered by Johann Palisa
Discovery date25 October 1888
MPC designation (279) Thule
Pronunciation /ˈθjli/ THEW-lee [1]
1927 EC, 1954 FF, A920 GA, A923 RA [2]
Asteroid belt (Thule)
Orbital characteristics [2]
Epoch 31 July 2016 (JD 2457600.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 125.34 yr (45780 d)
Aphelion 4.4617880  AU (667.47398  Gm)
Perihelion 4.2367660 AU (633.81117 Gm)
4.3492770 AU (650.64258 Gm)
Eccentricity 0.025869
9.07 yr (3313.0 d)
 6m 31.184s / day
Inclination 2.323774°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions126.59±3.7  km (IRAS) [2]
23.896  h (0.9957  d) [2]
0.0412±0.003 [2]
Temperature 133 K
B−V=0.75 [2]
U−B=0.32 [2]
D (Tholen) [2]
8.57 [2]

    Thule, minor planet designation: 279 Thule, is a large asteroid from the outer 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 25 October 1888 in Vienna and was named aptly after the ultimate northern land of Thule.

    A formal minor planet designation is, in its final form, a number–name combination given to a minor planet. Such designation always features a leading number assigned to a body once its orbital path is sufficiently secured. The formal designation is based on the minor planet's provisional designation, which was previously assigned automatically when it had been observed for the first time. Later on, the provisional part of the formal designation may be replaced with a name. Both formal and provisional designations are overseen by the Minor Planet Center (MPC), a branch of the International Astronomical Union.

    Asteroid Minor planet that is not a comet

    Asteroids are minor planets, especially of the inner Solar System. Larger asteroids have also been called planetoids. These terms have historically been applied to any astronomical object orbiting the Sun that did not resemble a planet-like disc and was not observed to have characteristics of an active comet such as a tail. As minor planets in the outer Solar System were discovered they were typically found to have volatile-rich surfaces similar to comets. As a result, they were often distinguished from objects found in the main asteroid belt. In this article, the term "asteroid" refers to the minor planets of the inner Solar System including those co-orbital with Jupiter.

    Asteroid belt The circumstellar disk (accumulation of matter) in an orbit between those of Mars and Jupiter

    The asteroid belt is the circumstellar disc in the Solar System located roughly between the orbits of the planets Mars and Jupiter. It is occupied by numerous irregularly shaped bodies called asteroids or minor planets. The asteroid belt is also termed the main asteroid belt or main belt to distinguish it from other asteroid populations in the Solar System such as near-Earth asteroids and trojan asteroids. About half the mass of the belt is contained in the four largest asteroids: Ceres, Vesta, Pallas, and Hygiea. The total mass of the asteroid belt is approximately 4% that of the Moon, or 22% that of Pluto, and roughly twice that of Pluto's moon Charon.


    Thule asteroids

    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 . [3] 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.

    Orbital resonance regular and periodic gravitational influence by two orbiting celestial bodies exerted on each other

    In celestial mechanics, orbital resonance occurs when orbiting bodies exert regular, periodic gravitational influence on each other, usually because their orbital periods are related by a ratio of small integers. Most commonly this relationship is found for a pair of objects. The physical principle behind orbital resonance is similar in concept to pushing a child on a swing, where the orbit and the swing both have a natural frequency, and the other body doing the "pushing" will act in periodic repetition to have a cumulative effect on the motion. Orbital resonances greatly enhance the mutual gravitational influence of the bodies, i.e., their ability to alter or constrain each other's orbits. In most cases, this results in an unstable interaction, in which the bodies exchange momentum and shift orbits until the resonance no longer exists. Under some circumstances, a resonant system can be stable and self-correcting, so that the bodies remain in resonance. Examples are the 1:2:4 resonance of Jupiter's moons Ganymede, Europa and Io, and the 2:3 resonance between Pluto and Neptune. Unstable resonances with Saturn's inner moons give rise to gaps in the rings of Saturn. The special case of 1:1 resonance between bodies with similar orbital radii causes large Solar System bodies to eject most other bodies sharing their orbits; this is part of the much more extensive process of clearing the neighbourhood, an effect that is used in the current definition of a planet.

    Jupiter Fifth planet from the Sun in the Solar System

    Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun and the largest in the Solar System. It is a gas giant with a mass one-thousandth that of the Sun, but two-and-a-half times that of all the other planets in the Solar System combined. Jupiter has been known to astronomers since antiquity. It is named after the Roman god Jupiter. When viewed from Earth, Jupiter can be bright enough for its reflected light to cast shadows, and is on average the third-brightest natural object in the night sky after the Moon and Venus.

    Kirkwood gap

    A Kirkwood gap is a gap or dip in the distribution of the semi-major axes of the orbits of main-belt asteroids. They correspond to the locations of orbital resonances with Jupiter.

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    1. "Thule". Oxford English Dictionary second edition. Oxford University Press. 1989. Retrieved 7 December 2018.
    2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 "279 Thule". JPL Small-Body Database . NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory . Retrieved 11 May 2016.
    3. 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. arXiv: 1104.4004 . Bibcode:2008MNRAS.390..715B. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13764.x.

    The JPL Small-Body Database (SBDB) is an astronomy database about small Solar System bodies. It is maintained by Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and NASA and provides data for all known asteroids and several comets, including orbital parameters and diagrams, physical diagrams, and lists of publications related to the small body. The database is updated on a daily basis.