11252 Laërtes

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11252 Laërtes
Discovery [1]
Discovered by C. J. van Houten
I. van Houten-G.
T. Gehrels
Discovery site Palomar Obs.
Discovery date 19 September 1973
MPC designation (11252) Laërtes
Pronunciation /lˈɜːrtz/ lay-UR-teez
Named after
Laërtes (Greek mythology)[2]
1973 SA2 · 1977 AY2
Jupiter trojan[3]
(Greek camp)[4]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 65.57 yr (23,951 days)
Aphelion 5.2964 AU
Perihelion 4.9900 AU
5.1432 AU
Eccentricity 0.0298
11.66 yr (4,260 days)
0° 5m 4.2s / day
Inclination 5.8581°
Jupiter MOID 0.0497 AU
TJupiter 2.9890
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 41.093±5.971[5][6]
42.23 km (calculated)[7]
9.15±0.03 h[8]
0.057 (assumed)[7]
10.6[1][7][5] · 10.76±0.25[9]

11252 Laërtes (/lˈɜːrtz/ lay-UR-teez), provisional designation 1973 SA2, is a carbonaceous Jupiter trojan from the Greek camp, approximately 42 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered during a follow-up campaign of the Palomar–Leiden survey in 1973, and named after Laërtes from Greek mythology.


It was discovered on 19 September 1973, by Dutch astronomer couple Ingrid and Cornelis van Houten on photographic plates taken by Dutch–American astronomer Tom Gehrels at the Palomar Observatory in California.[3] The first precovery was taken at the discovering observatory in 1951, extending the asteroid's observation arc by 22 years prior to its discovery.[3]

As an anomaly, the asteroid did not receive a typical survey designation, although it was discovered in 1973, when the discovering trio of astronomers were conducting their second Palomar–Leiden Trojan survey (T-2).

Orbit and classification[edit]

The dark C-type asteroid is orbiting in the leading Greek camp at Jupiter's L4 Lagrangian point, 60° ahead of its orbit (see Trojans in astronomy). It orbits the Sun at a distance of 5.0–5.3 AU once every 11 years and 8 months (4,260 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.03 and an inclination of 6° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

Physical characteristics[edit]

In March 2015, a rotational lightcurve was obtained by American astronomer Robert Stephens at the Center for Solar System Studies (CS3) in California, the photometric observations showed a rotation period of 9.15±0.03 hours with a brightness variation of 0.18 magnitude (U=2).[8]

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's space-based Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, the asteroid measures 41.1 kilometers in diameter, and its surface has an albedo of 0.060.[5][6] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for carbonaceous bodies of 0.057 and calculates a diameter of 42.2 kilometers with an absolute magnitude of 10.6.[7]


This minor planet was named for Laërtes, the king of Ithaca, Argonaut, husband of Anticleia, and father of Odysseus. The father of Laërtes was Arcisius, a son of the sky and thunder god and ruler of Mount Olympus, Zeus, the minor planets 651 Antikleia, 1143 Odysseus, 1151 Ithaka, 5731 Zeus were all named after these figures and places from Greek mythology.[2] The approved naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 24 January 2000 (M.P.C. 38200).[10]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 11252 Laertes (1973 SA2)" (2017-06-05 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 5 July 2017. 
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (11252) Laërtes. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 757. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 9 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c "11252 Laertes (1973 SA2)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 9 April 2016. 
  4. ^ "List of Jupiter Trojans". Minor Planet Center. 20 June 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  5. ^ 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:1109.6407Freely accessible. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c Grav, T.; Mainzer, A. K.; Bauer, J. M.; Masiero, J. R.; Nugent, C. R. (November 2012). "WISE/NEOWISE Observations of the Jovian Trojan Population: Taxonomy". The Astrophysical Journal. 759 (1): 10. arXiv:1209.1549Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012ApJ...759...49G. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/759/1/49. Retrieved 5 December 2016. 
  7. ^ a b c d e "LCDB Data for (11252) Laertes". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  8. ^ a b Stephens, Robert D.; Coley, Daniel, R.; French, Linda M. (January 2016). "Large L5 Jovian Trojan Asteroid Lightcurves from the Center for Solar System Studies". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 43 (1): 15–22. Bibcode:2016MPBu...43...15S. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  9. ^ 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:1506.00762Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 
  10. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 17 May 2016. 

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