279 Thule

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279 Thule
Discovered by Johann Palisa
Discovery date 25 October 1888
MPC designation (279) Thule
1927 EC, 1954 FF, A920 GA, A923 RA[1]
Asteroid belt (Thule)
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 31 July 2016 (JD 2457600.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 125.34 yr (45780 d)
Aphelion 4.4617880 AU (667.47398 Gm)
Perihelion 4.2367660 AU (633.81117 Gm)
4.3492770 AU (650.64258 Gm)
Eccentricity 0.025869
9.07 yr (3313.0 d)
0° 6m 31.184s / day
Inclination 2.323774°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 126.59±3.7 km (IRAS)[1]
23.896 h (0.9957 d)[1]
Temperature 133 K
D (Tholen)[1]

279 Thule (/ˈθjuːl/ THEW-lee) is a large asteroid from the outer asteroid belt. It is classified as a D-type asteroid and is probably composed of organic-rich silicates, carbon and anhydrous silicates. Thule was the first asteroid discovered with a semi-major axis greater than 4 AU, it was discovered by Johann Palisa on 25 October 1888 in Vienna and was named aptly after the ultimate northern land of Thule.

Thule asteroids[edit]

Thule was the first discovered member of the Thule dynamical group, which as of 2008 is known to consist of three objects: 279 Thule, (186024) 2001 QG207, and (185290) 2006 UB219.[2] The orbits of these bodies are unusual, they orbit in the outermost edge of the asteroid belt in a 4:3 orbital resonance with Jupiter, the result of the periodic force Jupiter exerts on a body with Thule's orbital period, in the same way (though with the reverse effect) as the Kirkwood gaps in the more inner parts of the asteroid belt.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "279 Thule". JPL Small-Body Database. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 11 May 2016. 
  2. ^ Brož, M.; Vokrouhlický, D. (2008). "Asteroid families in the first-order resonances with Jupiter". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 390 (2): 715–732. Bibcode:2008MNRAS.tmp.1068B. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2008.13764.x. 

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