1052 Belgica

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1052 Belgica
Discovery [1]
Discovered byE. Delporte
Discovery siteUccle Obs.
Discovery date15 November 1925
MPC designation(1052) Belgica
Named after
Belgium (country)[2]
1925 VD · 1965 UO1
A908 TB
main-belt · Flora[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 16 February 2017 (JD 2457800.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc108.27 yr (39,545 days)
Aphelion2.5565 AU
Perihelion1.9166 AU
2.2366 AU
3.34 yr (1,222 days)
0° 17m 40.92s / day
Known satellites1 [4][5][6]
Physical characteristics
Dimensions9.785±0.123 km[7]
10.406±0.077 km[8]
10.94 km (derived)[3]
11±2 km[5]
2.70933±0.0003 h[9]
2.7097±0.0001 h[4]
2.7097±0.0001 h[5]
0.20 (assumed)[3]
B–V = 0.900[1]
U–B = 0.540[1]
S (Tholen)[1] · S (SMASS)[1]
11.97[1][8] · 12.09±0.25[10] · 12.17±0.05[3][5]

1052 Belgica, provisional designation 1925 VD, is a binary Florian asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 10 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 15 November 1925, by Belgian astronomer Eugène Delporte at Uccle Observatory in Belgium.[11] It was the first minor planet discovered at Uccle Observatory, after which the minor planet 1276 Ucclia was named.

1052 is named after the Western European state of Belgium.[2]

Classification and orbit[edit]

Belgica is a member of the Flora family, one of the largest groups of stony asteroids in the main-belt. It orbits the Sun at a distance of 1.9–2.6 AU once every 3 years and 4 months (1,222 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.14 and an inclination of 5° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] Belgica was first identified as A908 TB at Heidelberg in 1908. The body's observation arc begins with its first used observation taken at Uccle/Bergedorf in 1933, or 8 years after its official discovery at Uccle.[11]

Physical characteristics[edit]

In both the Tholen and SMASS taxonomy, Belgica is classified as a common stony S-type asteroid.[1]

Rotation period[edit]

Between December 2012, and January 2013, photometric observations of Belgica were taken at several observatories in Italy, the Czech Republic, Spain and the United States. They gave three concurring lightcurves with a rotation period of 2.709 hours and a brightness variation of 0.08 to 0.10 magnitude, indicating a nearly spheroidal shape for the asteroid's body (U=2/3/n.a.).


The photometric observations also revealed, that Belgica is a binary system with an asteroid moon, approximately 36% the diameter of its primary, orbiting it every 47.26±0.02 hours.[4][5] Johnston's archive derives a diameter of 3.53 kilometers and estimates a semi-major axis of 34 kilometer for the moon.[6]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the survey carried out by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Belgica measures 9.78 and 10.406 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.301 and 0.273, respectively,[7][8] while the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for stony asteroids of 0.20 and derives a diameter of 10.94 kilometers with an absolute magnitude of 12.17.[3] This agrees with the estimated diameter of 11±2 kilometers by Franco et al.[5]


This minor planet was named in honor of the state of Belgium. The name "Belgica" was suggested during the height of World War I by American astronomer Joel Hastings Metcalf, but the Director of the German Astronomisches Rechen-Institut in Berlin, Fritz Cohn, rejected the proposal based on political considerations, as Belgium was occupied by German troops at the time.[2]

In his Dictionary of Minor Planets Names, astronomer Lutz Schmadel described this piece of history involving minor planet names in detail. Naming citation was first mentioned in The Names of the Minor Planets by Paul Herget in 1955 (H 100).[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1052 Belgica (1925 VD)" (2017-01-09 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). "(1052) Belgica". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 90. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_1053. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (1052) Belgica". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  4. ^ a b c Franco, L.; Pravec, P.; Ferrero, A.; Martinez, L. (January 2013). "(1052) Belgica". Central Bureau Electronic Telegrams. 3372 (3372): 1. Bibcode:2013CBET.3372....1F. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Franco, Lorenzo; Ferrero, Andrea; Martinez, Luis; Pravec, Petr; Padovan, Stefano (July 2013). "Binary Nature for the Asteroid 1052 Belgica". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 40 (3): 151–153. Bibcode:2013MPBu...40..151F. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  6. ^ a b Johnston, Robert (21 September 2014). "(1052) Belgica". johnstonsarchive.net. Retrieved 10 April 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Grav, T.; Mainzer, A. K.; Nugent, C. R.; Bauer, J. M.; Stevenson, R.; et al. (August 2014). "Main-belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE: Near-infrared Albedos". The Astrophysical Journal. 791 (2): 11. arXiv:1406.6645. Bibcode:2014ApJ...791..121M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/121. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.; Hand, E.; Bauer, J.; Tholen, D.; et al. (November 2011). "NEOWISE Studies of Spectrophotometrically Classified Asteroids: Preliminary Results". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90.
  9. ^ Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (1052) Belgica". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  10. ^ Veres, Peter; Jedicke, Robert; Fitzsimmons, Alan; Denneau, Larry; Granvik, Mikael; Bolin, Bryce; et al. (November 2015). "Absolute magnitudes and slope parameters for 250,000 asteroids observed by Pan-STARRS PS1 - Preliminary results". Icarus. 261: 34–47. arXiv:1506.00762. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  11. ^ a b "1052 Belgica (1925 VD)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 27 January 2017.

External links[edit]