1688 Wilkens

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1688 Wilkens
Discovery [1]
Discovered by M. Itzigsohn
Discovery site La Plata Obs.
Discovery date 3 March 1951
MPC designation (1688) Wilkens
Named after
Alexander Wilkens
(German astronomer)[2]
1951 EQ1 · 1964 JC
main-belt · (middle)[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 66.05 yr (24,123 days)
Aphelion 3.2511 AU
Perihelion 1.9834 AU
2.6173 AU
Eccentricity 0.2422
4.23 yr (1,547 days)
0° 13m 58.08s / day
Inclination 11.763°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 12.12 km (calculated)[3]
16.239±0.118 km[5][6]
16.82±0.29 km[7]
7.248±0.001 h[8]
7.3017±0.0676 h[9]
0.10 (assumed)[3]
S (assumed)[3]
12.50[7] · 12.7[1][3][5] · 12.91±0.45[10] · 12.953±0.002 (S)[9]

1688 Wilkens, provisional designation 1951 EQ1, is a Mitidika asteroid from the central region of the asteroid belt, approximately 16 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 3 March 1951, by Argentine astronomer Miguel Itzigsohn at La Plata Observatory in the Province of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and named after astronomer Alexander Wilkens.[11]

Classification and orbit[edit]

Wilkens has been identified as a member of the Mitidika family, a dispersed asteroid family of typically carbonaceous C-type asteroids. The family is named after 2262 Mitidika (diameter of 9 km) and consists of 653 known members, the largest ones being 404 Arsinoë (95 km) and 5079 Brubeck (17 km).[4][12]:23

It orbits the Sun in the central main-belt at a distance of 2.0–3.3 AU once every 4 years and 3 months (1,547 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.24 and an inclination of 12° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] As no precoveries were taken, and no prior identifications were made, Wilkens' observation arc begins with its official discovery observation in 1951.[11]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Rotation period[edit]

In July 2007, astronomer Lorenzo Franco obtained a rotational lightcurve of Wilkens at the Balzaretto Observatory (A81) near Rome, Italy. It gave a well-defined period of 7.248 hours and a brightness variation of 0.23 magnitude (U=3).[8] Photometric observations in the S-band at the Palomar Transient Factory in January 2014, gave a period of 7.3017 hours with an amplitude of 0.34 (U=2).[9]

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, Wilkens measures 16.23 and 16.82 kilometers in diameter, and its surface has an albedo of 0.044 and 0.066, respectively.[5][6][7] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes an albedo of 0.10 and calculates a diameter of 12.12 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 12.7.[3]


This minor planet was named for German astronomer Alexander Wilkens (1881–1968), researcher in many branches of astronomy, most notably celestial mechanics. After having worked for many years in Germany, he trained two generations of celestial mechanicians at the discovering La Plata Observatory before returning to his native country.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 1 August 1980 (M.P.C. 5449).[13]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1688 Wilkens (1951 EQ1)" (2017-03-19 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1688) Wilkens. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 134. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (1688) Wilkens". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  4. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 2 September 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 22 December 2016.
  6. ^ 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 22 December 2016.
  7. ^ 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 22 December 2016.
  8. ^ a b Franco, Lorenzo (April 2012). "Lightcurve Photometry of 1688 Wilkens". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 39 (2): 50. Bibcode:2012MPBu...39...50F. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  9. ^ 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 22 December 2016.
  10. ^ 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:1506.00762. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  11. ^ a b "1688 Wilkens (1951 EQ1)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 22 December 2016.
  12. ^ Nesvorný, D.; Broz, M.; Carruba, V. (December 2014). "Identification and Dynamical Properties of Asteroid Families" (PDF). Asteroids IV: 297–321. arXiv:1502.01628. Bibcode:2015aste.book..297N. doi:10.2458/azu_uapress_9780816532131-ch016. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  13. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 22 December 2016.

External links[edit]