12838 Adamsmith

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12838 Adamsmith
Discovery [1]
Discovered by E. W. Elst
Discovery site La Silla Obs.
Discovery date 9 March 1997
MPC designation (12838) Adamsmith
Named after
Adam Smith
(moral philosopher)[2]
1997 EL55 · 1987 DX6
1997 HO14 · 1999 RX2
main-belt · Koronis[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 30.19 yr (11,026 days)
Aphelion 3.0762 AU
Perihelion 2.6925 AU
2.8843 AU
Eccentricity 0.0665
4.90 yr (1,789 days)
0° 12m 4.32s / day
Inclination 1.1631°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 6.16 km (calculated)[3]
10.9090±0.0031 h[4]
0.24 (assumed)[3]
13.0[1] · 12.70±0.34[5] · 12.770±0.002 (R)[4] · 13.22[3]

12838 Adamsmith, provisional designation 1997 EL55, is a stony Koronis asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 6 kilometers in diameter. The asteroid was discovered on 9 March 1997, by Belgian astronomer Eric Walter Elst at ESO's La Silla Observatory in northern Chile.[6] It was named after Scottish philosopher and economist Adam Smith.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Adamsmith is a member of the Koronis family, a group of co-planar, stony asteroids in the outer main-belt, named after 158 Koronis. It orbits the Sun at a distance of 2.7–3.1 AU once every 4 years and 11 months (1,789 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.07 and an inclination of 1° with respect to the ecliptic.[3]

It was first identified as 1987 DX6 at the discovering observatory in 1987, extending the asteroid's observation arc by 10 years prior to its official discovery observation.[6]

Physical characteristics[edit]

In January 2011, a rotational lightcurve of Adamsmith was obtained from photometric observations by astronomers at the Palomar Transient Factory in California. Lightcurve analysis gave a rotation period of 10.9090 hours with a brightness variation of 0.48 magnitude (U=2).[4]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for stony Koronian asteroids of 0.24 and calculates a diameter of 6.2 kilometers with an absolute magnitude of 13.22.[3]


This minor planet was named for the economist Adam Smith (1723–1790), Scottish moral philosopher and principal figure in the Scottish Enlightenment. Known for his works The Theory of Moral Sentiments (1759) and An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776), he introduced the concept of the division of labour which represents a qualitative increase in productivity, and suggested that self-interest and competition can lead to economic prosperity.[2] The approved naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center 30 July 2007 (M.P.C. 60299).[7]


  1. ^ a b c "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 12838 Adamsmith (1997 EL55)" (2017-05-05 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 24 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (12838) Adamsmith. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 829. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "LCDB Data for (12838) Adamsmith". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Waszczak, Adam; Chang, Chan-Kao; Ofek, Eran O.; Laher, Russ; Masci, Frank; Levitan, David; et al. (September 2015). "Asteroid Light Curves from the Palomar Transient Factory Survey: Rotation Periods and Phase Functions from Sparse Photometry". The Astronomical Journal. 150 (3): 35. arXiv:1504.04041Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015AJ....150...75W. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/3/75. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  5. ^ 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 30 April 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "12838 Adamsmith (1997 EL55)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 
  7. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 30 April 2016. 

External links[edit]