406 Erna

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406 Erna
Discovery [1][2]
Discovered by A. Charlois
Discovery site Nice Obs.
Discovery date 22 August 1895
MPC designation (406) Erna
Named after
Erna Bidschof [3]
(grand-daughter of J. Palisa)
1895 CB · 1949 KD1
A903 DA · A905 OB
main-belt · (outer)[4]
background [5]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 114.37 yr (41,772 days)
Aphelion 3.4439 AU
Perihelion 2.3861 AU
2.9150 AU
Eccentricity 0.1814
4.98 yr (1,818 days)
0° 11m 52.8s / day
Inclination 4.1920°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 41.52±10.79 km[6]
46.145±0.732 km[7]
46.02±0.73 km[8]
46.266±0.310 km[9]
47.70±0.51 km[9]
49.19±1.7 km[4][10]
8.7893±0.0002 h[4][11]
8.790±0.0021 h[12]
Tholen = P[1][4] · P[15]
B–V = 0.738[1]
U–B = 0.273[1]
10.134±0.001 (R)[12]

406 Erna, provisional designation 1895 CB, is a dark asteroid of the background population in the outer regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 46 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered by French astronomer Auguste Charlois at Nice Observatory on 22 August 1895.[2] The asteroid was presumably named after Erna Bidschof, the granddaughter of Johann Palisa.[3]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Erna is a non-family asteroid from the main belt's background population.[5] It orbits the Sun in the outer asteroid belt at a distance of 2.4–3.4 AU once every 4 years and 12 months (1,818 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.18 and an inclination of 4° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The body's observation arc begins at the United States Naval Observatory in September 1905, more than 10 years after its official discovery observation at Nice.[2]

Physical characteristics[edit]

In the Tholen classification, Erna is a dark and primitive P-type asteroid.[1] It has also been characterized as such by polarimetric observations.[15]

Rotation period[edit]

In October 2005, a rotational lightcurve of Erna was obtained from photometric observations by French and Italian astronomers Raymond Poncy (177), Roberto Crippa (A12), Federico Manzini and Silvano Casulli. Lightcurve analysis gave a well-defined rotation period of 8.7893 hours with a brightness variation of 0.35 magnitude (U=3).[11] Another lightcurve from the Palomar Transient Factory in November 2010 gave a similar period of 8.790 hours with an amplitude of 0.35 magnitude (U=2).[12]

Spin axis[edit]

In 2013, an international study modeled a lightcurve from various data sources including the Uppsala Asteroid Photometric Catalogue and the Palomar Transient Factory survey. The modeling gave a concurring period of 8.79079 hours and determined two spin axis in ecliptic coordinates (λ, β) of: (357.0°, −49.0°) and (161.0°, −60.0°).[13]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite IRAS, the Japanese Akari satellite, and NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Erna measures between 41.52 and 49.19 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.0524 and 0.060.[6][7][8][9][10][14]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link adopts the results obtained by IRAS, that is, an albedo of 0.0524 and a diameter of 49.19 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 10.36.[4][10]


This minor planet was likely named after Erna Bidschof, the granddaughter of Austrian astronomer Johann Palisa, who was one of the most prolific discoverer of minor planets at the time. Erna is the daughter of the astronomer Friedrich Bidschof (1864–1915) and his wife Helene (née Palisa).[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 406 Erna (1895 CB)" (2017-07-03 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  2. ^ a b c "406 Erna (1895 CB)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  3. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (406) Erna. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 48. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "LCDB Data for (406) Erna". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  5. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  6. ^ a b c d Nugent, C. R.; Mainzer, A.; Bauer, J.; Cutri, R. M.; Kramer, E. A.; Grav, T.; et al. (September 2016). "NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year Two: Asteroid Diameters and Albedos". The Astronomical Journal. 152 (3): 12. arXiv:1606.08923Freely accessible. Bibcode:2016AJ....152...63N. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/3/63. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  7. ^ 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:1109.6407Freely accessible. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  8. ^ 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 4 November 2017. 
  9. ^ a b c d e 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 November 2017. 
  10. ^ a b c d e 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 4 November 2017. 
  11. ^ a b Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (406) Erna". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  12. ^ 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 November 2017. 
  13. ^ a b Hanus, J.; Durech, J.; Broz, M.; Marciniak, A.; Warner, B. D.; Pilcher, F.; et al. (March 2013). "Asteroids' physical models from combined dense and sparse photometry and scaling of the YORP effect by the observed obliquity distribution". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 551: 16. arXiv:1301.6943Freely accessible. Bibcode:2013A&A...551A..67H. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201220701. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  14. ^ a b 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:1406.6645Freely accessible. Bibcode:2014ApJ...791..121M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/121. Retrieved 14 June 2017. 
  15. ^ a b Belskaya, I. N.; Fornasier, S.; Tozzi, G. P.; Gil-Hutton, R.; Cellino, A.; Antonyuk, K.; et al. (March 2017). "Refining the asteroid taxonomy by polarimetric observations". Icarus. 284: 30–42. Bibcode:2017Icar..284...30B. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2016.11.003. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 
  16. ^ 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:1506.00762Freely accessible. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 4 November 2017. 

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