1455 Mitchella

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1455 Mitchella
Discovery [1]
Discovered by A. Bohrmann
Discovery site Heidelberg Obs.
Discovery date 5 June 1937
MPC designation (1455) Mitchella
Named after
Maria Mitchell[2]
(American astronomer)
1937 LF · 1947 LB
1978 QR3
main-belt · (inner)
Flora[3] · background [4]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 79.81 yr (29,152 days)
Aphelion 2.5273 AU
Perihelion 1.9665 AU
2.2469 AU
Eccentricity 0.1248
3.37 yr (1,230 days)
0° 17m 33.36s / day
Inclination 7.7548°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 6.449±0.170 km[5]
6.55±1.51 km[6]
6.646±0.102 km[7]
7.00±1.56 km[8]
7.47 km (calculated)[3]
118.7±0.5 h[a]
0.24 (assumed)[3]
S (assumed)[3]
12.7[7] · 12.80[8][1][3] · 13.03[6] · 13.27±0.31[9]

1455 Mitchella, provisional designation 1937 LF, is a Florian asteroid, slow rotator and suspected tumbler from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 7 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 5 June 1937, by astronomer Alfred Bohrmann at the Heidelberg-Königstuhl State Observatory in southwest Germany.[10] The asteroid was named after American astronomer Maria Mitchell.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Mitchella is a non-family asteroid of the main belt's background population when applying the Hierarchical Clustering Method to its proper orbital elements.[4] It 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 2.0–2.5 AU once every 3 years and 4 months (1,230 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.12 and an inclination of 8° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The body's observation arc begins at Heidelberg, one month after its official discovery observation.[10]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Mitchella is an assumed stony S-type asteroid,[3] which is also the overall spectral type for members of the Flora family.

Rotation period[edit]

In June 2006, a rotational lightcurve of Mitchella was obtained from photometric observations by Australian astronomer David Higgins at the Hunters Hill Observatory (E14). Lightcurve analysis gave a rotation period of 118.7 hours with a brightness variation of 0.60 magnitude (U=2+).[a] With a period above 100 hours, Mitchella is one of few hundred slow rotators currently known to exists. Its high brightness amplitude is indicative for a somewhat elongated shape. Also, the photometric observations suggested that it might be in a tumbling motion.[a]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Mitchella measures between 6.449 and 7.00 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.26 and 0.353.[5][6][7][8]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes an albedo of 0.24 – derived from 8 Flora, the Flora family's parent body – and calculates a diameter of 7.47 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 12.8.[3]


This minor planet was named after Maria Mitchell (1818–1889), an American professor of astronomy and director of Vassar College Observatory. The official naming citation was mentioned in The Names of the Minor Planets by Paul Herget in 1955 (H 131).[2] The lunar crater Mitchell is also named in her honor, as is the Maria Mitchell Observatory in, Massachusetts, United States.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Higgins (2011) web: rotation period 118.7±0.5 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.60 mag. Summary figures for (1455) Mitchella at LCDB and David Higgins' archived website


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1455 Mitchella (1937 LF)" (2017-03-29 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c d Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1455) Mitchella. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 117. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h "LCDB Data for (1455) Mitchella". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  4. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  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 21 October 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d Nugent, C. R.; Mainzer, A.; Bauer, J.; Cutri, R. M.; Kramer, E. A.; Grav, T.; et al. (September 2016). "NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year Two: Asteroid Diameters and Albedos". The Astronomical Journal. 152 (3): 12. arXiv:1606.08923Freely accessible. Bibcode:2016AJ....152...63N. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/3/63. Retrieved 21 October 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 21 October 2017. 
  8. ^ a b c d Nugent, C. R.; Mainzer, A.; Masiero, J.; Bauer, J.; Cutri, R. M.; Grav, T.; et al. (December 2015). "NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year One: Preliminary Asteroid Diameters and Albedos". The Astrophysical Journal. 814 (2): 13. arXiv:1509.02522Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015ApJ...814..117N. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/814/2/117. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 
  9. ^ 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 21 October 2017. 
  10. ^ a b "1455 Mitchella (1937 LF)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 21 October 2017. 

External links[edit]