1859 Kovalevskaya

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1859 Kovalevskaya
Discovery [1]
Discovered by L. V. Zhuravleva
Discovery site Crimean Astrophysical Obs.
Discovery date 4 September 1972
MPC designation (1859) Kovalevskaya
Named after
Sofia Kovalevskaya
(Russian mathematician)[2]
1972 RS2 · 1932 RD
1941 BQ · 1942 HH
1949 PU · 1949 QW
1950 TM4 · 1953 EK1
1966 PC1 · A915 TK
main-belt · (outer)[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 101.37 yr (37,027 days)
Aphelion 3.5272 AU
Perihelion 2.8909 AU
3.2091 AU
Eccentricity 0.0991
5.75 yr (2,100 days)
0° 10m 17.04s / day
Inclination 7.7011°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 34.40 km (calculated)[3]
46.02±1.6 km (IRAS:14)[5]
48.798±0.424 km[6]
11.1084±0.0066 h[7]
0.057 (assumed)[3]
0.0694±0.005 (IRAS:14)[5]
10.6[6] · 10.7[1] · 11.05[3] · 11.1084±0.0066 (R)[7]

1859 Kovalevskaya, provisional designation 1972 RS2, is a carbonaceous asteroid from the outer regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 40 kilometers in diameter.

It was discovered on 4 September 1972, by Russian–Ukrainian astronomer Lyudmila Zhuravleva at the Crimean Astrophysical Observatory in Nauchnyj, on the Crimean peninsula.[8] The asteroid was named after Russian mathematician Sofia Kovalevskaya.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Kovalevskaya orbits the Sun in the outer main-belt at a distance of 2.9–3.5 AU once every 5 years and 9 months (2,100 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.10 and an inclination of 8° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

It was first identified as A915 TK at Heidelberg Observatory in 1915, extending the asteroid's observation arc by 57 years prior to its official discovery observation at Nauchnyj.[8]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Kovalevskaya has been characterized as a dark C-type asteroid.[3]


In September 2013, photometric observations at the Palomar Transient Factory, California, gave a rotational lightcurve with a period of 11.1084±0.0066 hours and a brightness variation of 0.13 in magnitude (U=2).[7]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS) and the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Kovalevskaya measures between 44.6 and 48.8 kilometers in diameter, and its surface has a low albedo between 0.043 and 0.069.[4][5][6]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for carbonaceous asteroids of 0.057 and calculates a smaller diameter of 34.4 kilometers with an absolute magnitude of 11.05.[3]


This minor planet was named after the first major Russian mathematician, Sofia Kovalevskaya (1850–1891), who has made important contributions to partial differential equations and rigid body motion (also see Kovalevskaya top). The lunar carter Kovalevskaya is also named after her.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center before November 1977 (M.P.C. 3826).[9]

From 1972 to 1992, the discoverer of this asteroid, Lyudmila Zhuravleva, has made more than 200 minor planets discoveries, and ranks 61st on the Minor Planet Center discoverer chart.[10]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1859 Kovalevskaya (1972 RS2)" (2017-02-15 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1859) Kovalevskaya. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 149. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "LCDB Data for (1859) Kovalevskaya". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Grav, T.; Mainzer, A. K.; Nugent, C. R.; Bauer, J. M.; Stevenson, R.; et al. (August 2014). "Main-belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE: Near-infrared Albedos". The Astrophysical Journal. 791 (2): 11. arXiv:1406.6645. Bibcode:2014ApJ...791..121M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/121. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  5. ^ a b c Tedesco, E. F.; Noah, P. V.; Noah, M.; Price, S. D. (October 2004). "IRAS Minor Planet Survey V6.0". NASA Planetary Data System. Bibcode:2004PDSS...12.....T. Retrieved 8 December 2016.
  6. ^ 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". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  7. ^ 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 20 April 2016.
  8. ^ a b "1859 Kovalevskaya (1972 RS2)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  9. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  10. ^ "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 23 March 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2016.

External links[edit]