15811 Nüsslein-Volhard

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15811 Nüsslein-Volhard
Discovery [1]
Discovered by F. Börngen
Discovery site Karl Schwarzschild Obs.
Discovery date 10 July 1994
MPC designation (15811) Nüsslein-Volhard
Named after
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
(biologist, Nobelist)[2]
1994 ND1 · 1955 SX1
1988 PY2 · 1989 SG7
main-belt · (outer)[1]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 60.87 yr (22,232 days)
Aphelion 3.7344 AU
Perihelion 2.6737 AU
3.2041 AU
Eccentricity 0.1655
5.74 yr (2,095 days)
0° 10m 18.84s / day
Inclination 9.6131°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 15.520±0.133[3]
16.17±1.4 km (IRAS:2)[1]
0.0617±0.013 (IRAS:2)[1]

15811 Nüsslein-Volhard, provisional designation 1994 ND1, is a dark background asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 16 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 10 July 1994, by German astronomer Freimut Börngen at the Karl Schwarzschild Observatory in Tautenburg, Germany.[4] It was named for Nobelist Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Nüsslein-Volhard orbits the Sun in the outer main-belt at a distance of 2.7–3.7 AU once every 5 years and 9 months (2,095 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.17 and an inclination of 10° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

The asteroid's observation arc begins 39 years prior to its official discovery observation, with its first identification as 1955 SX1 at the Goethe Link Observatory in September 1955.[4]

Physical characteristics[edit]

According to the observations made by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite IRAS and NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Nüsslein-Volhard measures 15.2 and 16.2 kilometers in diameter, and its surface has an albedo of 0.062 and 0.067, respectively.[1][3] A low albedo of 0.06 is typical for carbonaceous asteroids.


As of 2017, Nüsslein-Volhard's actual composition, rotation period and shape remain unknown.[1][5]


This minor planet was named after Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard (born 1942), a German biologist who, together with Eric Wieschaus and Edward Lewis, won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1995. Her research identified the genes controlling the embryonic development for the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster.[2] The approved naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 26 May 2002 (M.P.C. 45748).[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 15811 Nusslein-Volhard (1994 ND1)" (2016-08-03 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (15811) Nüsslein-Volhard. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 828. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  3. ^ 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 3 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b "15811 Nusslein-Volhard (1994 ND1)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  5. ^ "LCDB Data for (15811) Nüsslein-Volhard". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 26 June 2017.
  6. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 20 May 2016.

External links[edit]