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
(national personification)[2]
2002 SU19 · 2001 FS166
main-belt · Flora[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 56.35 yr (20,582 days)
Aphelion 2.7702 AU
Perihelion 1.8351 AU
2.3026 AU
Eccentricity 0.2031
3.49 yr (1,276 days)
0° 16m 55.56s / day
Inclination 7.3581°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 2.06 km (calculated)[3]
0.24 (assumed)[3]
15.5[5] · 15.6[1][3]

113390 Helvetia, provisional designation 2002 SU19, is a stony Florian asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 2.2 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 asteroid was named after the Swiss national symbol Helvetia.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Helvetia is a member of the Flora family, one of the largest collisional populations of stony asteroids. 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). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.20 and an inclination of 7° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The asteroid's observation arc begins 42 years prior to its official discovery observation, with a precovery taken at the Palomar Observatory in 1960.[2]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Helvetia has been characterized as a common S-type asteroid.[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.[4][5] 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. Each Swiss stamp carries her name, and her figure appears on most Swiss coins,[2] the official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 19 February 2006 (M.P.C. 55989).[6]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 113390 Helvetia (2002 SU19)" (2017-01-30 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 28 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d "113390 Helvetia (2002 SU19)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "LCDB Data for (113390) Helvetia". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 28 June 2017. 
  4. ^ 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. 
  5. ^ 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. 
  6. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 15 November 2016. 

External links[edit]