1506 Xosa

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1506 Xosa
Discovery [1]
Discovered by C. Jackson
Discovery site Johannesburg Obs.
Discovery date 15 May 1939
MPC designation (1506) Xosa
Named after
Xhosa people
(Bantu ethnic group)[2]
1939 JC
main-belt · (middle)[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 77.97 yr (28,477 days)
Aphelion 3.2408 AU
Perihelion 1.9052 AU
2.5730 AU
Eccentricity 0.2595
4.13 yr (1,507 days)
0° 14m 19.68s / day
Inclination 12.550°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 11.83 km (calculated)[3]
13.963±0.702 km[4]
5.90±0.01 h (dated)[5]
5.9±0.1 h (dated)[6]
292±3 h[7]
298.0659±5.5273 h[8]
0.20 (assumed)[3]
11.820±0.003 (R)[8] · 11.90[4] · 12.0[1][3]

1506 Xosa, provisional designation 1939 JC, is a stony asteroid and slow rotator from the middle region of the asteroid belt, approximately 13 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 15 May 1939, by English-born, South African astronomer Cyril Jackson at the Johannesburg Observatory in South Africa.[9] It is named for the Xhosa people.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

The S-type asteroid asteroid orbits the Sun at a distance of 1.9–3.2 AU once every 4 years and 2 months (1,507 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.26 and an inclination of 13° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] Xosa's observation arc begins with its official discovery observation, as no precoveries were taken and no prior identifications were made.[9]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Slow rotator[edit]

In Fall 2010, lightcurve photometry by Brian Warner and at the Palomar Transient Factory revealed that Xosa is a slow rotator with a notably long rotation period of 292 and 298 hours and a brightness variation of 0.70 and 0.42 magnitude, respectively (U=2+/2).[7][8] It also seems to be in a non-principal axis rotation (NPAR), colloquially called as "tumbling". However, observations are insufficient to determine the body's tumbling, or to rule out a non-tumbling state (T0).[7] These observations superseded previous periods obtained in 2001 and 2005 (U=1/1).[5][6][10]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the survey carried out by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Xosa measures 13.96 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.157,[4] while the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for stony asteroids of 0.20 and calculates a diameter of 11.83 kilometers using an absolute magnitude of 12.0.[3]


This minor planet was named after the Xhosa (formerly spelled "Xosa"), a Bantu ethnic group of native people in south-east South Africa, and who came into early contact with the white settlers.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center before November 1977 (M.P.C. 909).[11]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1506 Xosa (1939 JC)" (2017-05-02 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 5 June 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1506) Xosa. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 120. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (1506) Xosa". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Grav, T.; Bauer, J. M.; Cutri, R. M.; Nugent, C.; et al. (November 2012). "Preliminary Analysis of WISE/NEOWISE 3-Band Cryogenic and Post-cryogenic Observations of Main Belt Asteroids". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 759 (1): 5. arXiv:1209.5794Freely accessible. Bibcode:2012ApJ...759L...8M. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/759/1/L8. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  5. ^ a b Robinson, L. E.; Warner, B. D. (March 2002). "A Collaborative Work on Three Asteroid Lightcurves: 506 Marion, 585 Bilkis, 1506 Xosa". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 29: 6–7. Bibcode:2002MPBu...29....6R. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Stecher, George; Ford, Lyle; Bianchi, Natalie; Warner, Brian D.; Robinson, Larry (October 2009). "On the Period of 1506 Xosa". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 36 (4): 138–139. Bibcode:2009MPBu...36..138S. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  7. ^ a b c Warner, Brian D. (April 2011). "Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at the Palmer Divide Observatory: 2010 September-December". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 38 (2): 82–86. Bibcode:2011MPBu...38...82W. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  8. ^ 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 4 January 2017. 
  9. ^ a b "1506 Xosa (1939 JC)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  10. ^ Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (1506) Xosa". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 4 January 2017. 

External links[edit]