113390 Helvetia

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113390 Helvetia
Discovery [1]
Discovered by M. Griesser
Discovery site Eschenberg Obs.
Discovery date 29 September 2002
MPC designation (113390) Helvetia
Named after
Helvetia (Swiss symbol and national personification)[1]
2002 SU19 · 2001 FS166
main-belt[1][2] · (inner)
Flora[3] · background [4]
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 23 March 2018 (JD 2458200.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 57.33 yr (20,941 d)
Aphelion 2.7702 AU
Perihelion 1.8347 AU
2.3024 AU
Eccentricity 0.2032
3.49 yr (1,276 d)
0° 16m 55.56s / day
Inclination 7.3587°
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
2.06 km (calculated)[3]
0.24 (assumed)[3]
S (assumed)[3]
15.5[6] · 15.6[2][3]

113390 Helvetia, provisional designation 2002 SU19, is a background asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 2.2 kilometers (1.4 miles) kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 29 September 2002, by Swiss astronomer Markus Griesser at the Eschenberg Observatory in Winterthur, near Zürich, Switzerland. The presumed stony Florian asteroid was named after the Swiss national symbol Helvetia.[1]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Helvetia is a non-family asteroid of the main belt's background population when applying the hierarchical clustering method to its proper orbital elements.[4] Based on osculating Keplerian orbital elements, the asteroid has also been classified as a member of the Flora family (402), a giant asteroid family and the largest family of stony asteroids in the main-belt.[3]

It orbits the Sun in the inner main-belt at a distance of 1.8–2.8 AU once every 3 years and 6 months (1,276 days; semi-major axis of 2.3 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.20 and an inclination of 7° with respect to the ecliptic.[2] The asteroid's observation arc begins 42 years prior to its official discovery observation, with a precovery taken at the Palomar Observatory in September 1960.[1]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Helvetia is an assumed, stony S-type asteroid, the most common type in the inner main-belt and the Flora family's overall spectral type.[3]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's space-based Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Helvetia measures 2.196 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.231, which is typical for stony asteroids.[5][6] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes an albedo of 0.24 – derived from 8 Flora, the largest member and namesake of its family – and calculates a diameter of 2.06 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 15.6.[3]


In April 2014, Helvetia was photometrically observed by Hungarian astronomers Gyula M. Szabó and Krisztián Sárneczky. However, no rotational lightcurve could be obtained. The asteroid's rotation period and shape still remain unknown.[3]


This minor planet bears the name for Switzerland (Latin: Confoederatio Helvetica), where the asteroid was discovered. Helvetia is also an allegorical figure and symbol for the nation (national personification). Each Swiss stamp carries her name, and her figure appears on most Swiss coins.[1] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 19 February 2006 (M.P.C. 55989).[7]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "113390 Helvetia (2002 SU19)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 113390 Helvetia (2002 SU19)" (2017-01-30 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 29 March 2018. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "LCDB Data for (113390) Helvetia". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 28 June 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 29 March 2018. 
  5. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Grav, T.; Bauer, J. M.; Cutri, R. M.; Dailey, J.; et al. (November 2011). "Main Belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE. I. Preliminary Albedos and Diameters". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 20. arXiv:1109.4096Freely accessible. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...68M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/68. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.; Hand, E.; Bauer, J.; Tholen, D.; et al. (November 2011). "NEOWISE Studies of Spectrophotometrically Classified Asteroids: Preliminary Results" (PDF). The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407Freely accessible. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 28 June 2017. 
  7. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 

External links[edit]