1299 Mertona

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1299 Mertona
Discovery [1]
Discovered by G. Reiss
Discovery site Algiers Obs.
Discovery date 18 January 1934
MPC designation (1299) Mertona
Named after
Gerald Merton
(English astronomer)[2]
1934 BA
main-belt · (middle)[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 82.85 yr (30,260 days)
Aphelion 3.3325 AU
Perihelion 2.2706 AU
2.8016 AU
Eccentricity 0.1895
4.69 yr (1,713 days)
0° 12m 36.72s / day
Inclination 7.8754°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 14.140±0.322 km[4]
14.575±0.119 km[5]
14.90±1.23 km[6]
27.90 km (calculated)[3]
4.97691±0.00001 h[7]
4.977±0.003 h[8]
4.978±0.002 h[9]
4.9787±0.0013 h[10]
4.981±0.002 h[11]
0.057 (assumed)[3]
11.277±0.002 (R)[10] · 11.4[5][6] · 11.5[1][3]

1299 Mertona, provisional designation 1934 BA, is an asteroid from the central region of the asteroid belt, approximately 15 kilometers in diameter.

It was discovered on 18 January 1934, by French astronomer Guy Reiss at Algiers Observatory, Algeria, in northern Africa.[12] The asteroid was named after English astronomer Gerald Merton.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Mertona orbits the Sun in the central main-belt at a distance of 2.3–3.3 AU once every 4 years and 8 months (1,713 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.19 and an inclination of 8° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] As neither precoveries nor prior identifications were obtained, Mertona's observation arc begins with its official discovery observation at Algiers.[12]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Rotation period[edit]

Several rotational lightcurves of Mertona were obtained during 2003–2016. Photometric observations were taken by astronomers Andy Monson and Steven Kipp (4.977 hours; Δ0.55 mag; U=3) in November 2003,[8] by French amateur astronomer René Roy (4.981 hours; Δ0.46 mag; U=3) in March 2005,[11] by astronomers at the Palomar Transient Factory (4.9787 hours, Δ0.48 mag, U=2) in August 2012,[10] and by Daniel Klinglesmith (4.978 hours, Δ0.59 mag, U=3) at Etscorn Observatory (719) in Socorro, New Mexico.[9] In addition, a 2016-published lightcurve, modelling data from the Lowell photometric database, gave a concurring period of 4.97691 hours and a spin axis of (73.0°, 35.0°) in ecliptic coordinates (U=n.a.).[7]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by the Japanese Akari satellite and NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Mertona measures between 14.14 and 14.60 kilometers in diameter, and its surface has an albedo between 0.219 and 0.243.[4][5][6] Although such a high albedo is typical for stony asteroids, the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes an albedo of 0.057, which it uses as the generic albedo for all carbonaceous C-type asteroids. It therefore calculates a larger diameter of 27.90 kilometers (as the lower the albedo or reflectivity, the larger a body's diameter at an unchanged absolute magnitude or brightness).[3] Carbonaceous asteroids are the predominant type in the outer main-belt, while stony asteroids are mostly found in the inner regions of the asteroid belt.


This minor planet was named after English astronomer Gerald Merton (1893–1983),[2] who was president of the British Astronomical Association between 1950 and 1952.[13] The official naming citation was mentioned in The Names of the Minor Planets by Paul Herget in 1955 (H 119).[2]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1299 Mertona (1934 BA)" (2016-11-23 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1299) Mertona. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 107. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (1299) Mertona". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 18 January 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:1109.4096. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...68M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/68. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  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" (PDF). The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  6. ^ 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 18 January 2017.
  7. ^ a b Durech, J.; Hanus, J.; Oszkiewicz, D.; Vanco, R. (March 2016). "Asteroid models from the Lowell photometric database". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 587: 6. arXiv:1601.02909. Bibcode:2016A&A...587A..48D. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201527573. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  8. ^ a b Monson, Andy; Kipp, Steven (December 2004). "Corrigendum: Rotational periods of asteroids 1165 Imprinetta, 1299 Mertona 1645 Waterfield, 1833 Shmakova, 2313 Aruna, and (13856) 1999 XZ105". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 31 (4): 97. Bibcode:2004MPBu...31...97M. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  9. ^ a b Klinglesmith, Daniel A., III; Hanowell, Jesse; Risley, Ethan; Turk, Janek; Vargas, Angelica; Warren, Curtis Alan (July 2014). "Lightcurves for Inversion Model Candidates". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 41 (3): 139–143. Bibcode:2014MPBu...41..139K. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  10. ^ 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:1504.04041. Bibcode:2015AJ....150...75W. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/3/75. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  11. ^ a b Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (1299) Mertona". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  12. ^ a b "1299 Mertona (1934 BA)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 18 January 2017.
  13. ^ British Astronomical Association List of Members, 1969 April 30, London: British Astronomical Association, 1969, p. 116

External links[edit]