1249 Rutherfordia

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1249 Rutherfordia
1249Rutherfordia (Lightcurve Inversion).png
Lightcurve-based 3D-model of Rutherfordia
Discovery [1]
Discovered by K. Reinmuth
Discovery site Heidelberg Obs.
Discovery date 4 November 1932
MPC designation (1249) Rutherfordia
Named after
(inner suburb of New York City)
1932 VB · 1925 SF
1942 XV
main-belt · (inner)
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 84.98 yr (31,040 days)
Aphelion 2.3947 AU
Perihelion 2.0534 AU
2.2240 AU
Eccentricity 0.0767
3.32 yr (1,211 days)
0° 17m 49.92s / day
Inclination 4.8756°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 12.41±0.8 km[5]
13.063±0.097 km[6]
14.060±0.069 km[7]
15.77±0.69 km[8]
18.20±0.01 h[9]
18.220±0.005 h[10]
18.24 h[9]
18.242±0.001 h[11]
Tholen = S[1][3]
B–V = 0.883[1]
U–B = 0.484[1]
10.88±0.28[12] · 11.54[1][3][5][7][8]

1249 Rutherfordia, provisional designation 1932 VB, is an elongated, stony Florian asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 13 kilometers in diameter. Discovered by Karl Reinmuth at Heidelberg Observatory in 1932, the asteroid was named after Rutherford, New Jersey a suburb of New York City, United States.[13]


Rutherfordia was discovered on 4 November 1932, by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth at the Heidelberg-Königstuhl State Observatory in southwest Germany.[13] On 29 November 1932, it was independently discovered by Belgian astronomer Eugène Delporte at the Uccle Observatory in Belgium.[2] The Minor Planet Center only recognizes the first discoverer.[13]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Rutherfordia is a member of the Flora family (402),[3][4] a giant asteroid family and the largest family of stony asteroids in the main-belt.[14] It orbits the Sun in the inner asteroid belt at a distance of 2.1–2.4 AU once every 3 years and 4 months (1,211 days; semi-major axis of 2.22 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.08 and an inclination of 5° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

The asteroid was first observed as 1925 SF at Simeiz Observatory in September 1925. The body's observation arc begins at Heidelberg on 22 November 1932, or three weeks after its official discovery observation.[13]

Physical characteristics[edit]

In the Tholen classification, Rutherfordia is an S-type asteroid,[1][3] as is the overall spectral type of the Flora family.[14]:23

Rotation period[edit]

Several rotational lightcurves of Rutherfordia have been obtained from photometric observations since 2001.[9][10][11] The so-far best-rated lightcurve with a rotation period of 18.242 hours and a brightness amplitude of 0.71 magnitude, was measured by the Spanish amateur astronomer group OBAS in December 2015 (U=3).[3][11] The asteroid's elongated shape, indicated by its high brightness amplitude has previously been confirmed by physical modelling (see below).

Spin axis[edit]

In 2013, an international study modeled a lightcurve from various data sources including the Uppsala Asteroid Photometric Catalogue and the Palomar Transient Factory survey. The lightcurve gave a concurring period of 18.2183 hours and allowed for the determination of two spin axis of (32.0°, 74.0°) and (197.0°, 65.0°) in ecliptic coordinates (λ, β).[15]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite IRAS, the Japanese Akari satellite and the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Rutherfordia measures between 12.41 and 15.77 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.172 and 0.2778.[5][6][7][8]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link adopts the results obtained by IRAS, that is, an albedo of 0.2778 and a diameter of 12.41 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 11.54.[3]


Several sources erroneously attributed the naming of this asteroid to famous New Zealand-born British physicist Ernest Rutherford (1871–1937).[2] This minor planet, however, was named after the city of Rutherford, New Jersey, which is a inner suburb of metropolitan New York City. The naming was proposed by Irving Meyer and endorsed by German astronomer Gustav Stracke who mentioned on a postcard in February 1937, that his American college, Meyer, who himself did not discover any asteroids, requested the naming after the city of Rutherford, where a private observatory was located at the time.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1249 Rutherfordia (1932 VB)" (2017-10-29 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1249) Rutherfordia. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 104. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Archived from the original on 7 August 2017. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "LCDB Data for (1249) Rutherfordia". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  5. ^ a b c d Tedesco, E. F.; Noah, P. V.; Noah, M.; Price, S. D. (October 2004). "IRAS Minor Planet Survey V6.0". NASA Planetary Data System. Bibcode:2004PDSS...12.....T. Archived from the original on 2016-06-03. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  6. ^ 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" (PDF). The Astrophysical Journal. 791 (2): 11. arXiv:1406.6645Freely accessible. Bibcode:2014ApJ...791..121M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/121. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  7. ^ 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" (PDF). The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407Freely accessible. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c d Usui, Fumihiko; Kuroda, Daisuke; Müller, Thomas G.; Hasegawa, Sunao; Ishiguro, Masateru; Ootsubo, Takafumi; et al. (October 2011). "Asteroid Catalog Using Akari: AKARI/IRC Mid-Infrared Asteroid Survey". Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan. 63 (5): 1117–1138. Bibcode:2011PASJ...63.1117U. doi:10.1093/pasj/63.5.1117. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (1249) Rutherfordia". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  10. ^ a b Kryszczynska, A.; Colas, F.; Polinska, M.; Hirsch, R.; Ivanova, V.; Apostolovska, G.; et al. (October 2012). "Do Slivan states exist in the Flora family?. I. Photometric survey of the Flora region". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 546: 51. Bibcode:2012A&A...546A..72K. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201219199. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  11. ^ a b c Aznar Macias, Amadeo; Carreno Garcerain, Alfonso; Arce Masego, Enrique; Brines Rodriguez, Pedro; Lozano de Haro, Juan; Fornas Silva, Alvaro; et al. (July 2016). "Twenty-one Asteroid Lightcurves at Group Observadores de Asteroides (OBAS): Late 2015 to Early 2016". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 43 (3): 257–263. Bibcode:2016MPBu...43..257A. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  12. ^ 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 27 December 2017. 
  13. ^ a b c d "1249 Rutherfordia (1932 VB)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  14. ^ a b Nesvorný, D.; Broz, M.; Carruba, V. (December 2014). "Identification and Dynamical Properties of Asteroid Families" (PDF). Asteroids IV: 297–321. arXiv:1502.01628Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015aste.book..297N. doi:10.2458/azu_uapress_9780816532131-ch016. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 
  15. ^ Hanus, J.; Durech, J.; Broz, M.; Marciniak, A.; Warner, B. D.; Pilcher, F.; et al. (March 2013). "Asteroids' physical models from combined dense and sparse photometry and scaling of the YORP effect by the observed obliquity distribution" (PDF). Astronomy and Astrophysics. 551: 16. arXiv:1301.6943Freely accessible. Bibcode:2013A&A...551A..67H. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201220701. Retrieved 27 December 2017. 

External links[edit]