971 Alsatia

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971 Alsatia
Discovery [1]
Discovered byA. Schaumasse
Discovery siteNice Obs.
Discovery date23 November 1921
MPC designation(971) Alsatia
Named after
Alsace[2] (French province)
1921 LF · 1961 AA
A908 UE
main-belt · (middle)
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc108.67 yr (39,693 days)
Aphelion3.0666 AU
Perihelion2.2182 AU
2.6424 AU
4.30 yr (1,569 days)
0° 13m 46.2s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions55.31±13.87 km[5]
60.71±0.88 km[6]
60.867±0.527 km[7]
62.92±0.58 km[8]
63.75±1.7 km[4][9]
64.724±0.657 km[10]
6.81±0.01 h[11]
9.600±0.007 h[12]
9.606±0.001 h[13]
9.61±0.02 h[14]
9.614±0.003 h[15][a]
SMASS = C[1][4]
B–V = 0.669 [1]
U–B = 0.298 [1]
10.05[1][4][6][8][9][10] · 10.11±0.10[16] · 10.21[5]

971 Alsatia, provisional designation 1921 LF, is a carbonaceous background asteroid from the central region of the asteroid belt, approximately 60 kilometers (37 miles) in diameter. It was discovered on 23 November 1921, by French astronomer Alexandre Schaumasse at Nice Observatory in southeastern France;[17] the asteroid was named after the French province Alsace.[2]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Alsatia is a non-family asteroid of the main belt's background population when applying the Hierarchical Clustering Method to its proper orbital elements,[3] it has also been dynamically classified as a member of the Eunomia family (502), which has a different spectral type though. This suggests that Alsatia may be an interloper to that family.[4]

It orbits the Sun in the central main-belt at a distance of 2.2–3.1 AU once every 4 years and 4 months (1,569 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.16 and an inclination of 14° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

The body's observation arc begins with its first identification as A908 UE at Heidelberg Observatory in October 1908, more than 13 years prior to its official discovery observation at Nice.[17]

Physical characteristics[edit]

In the SMASS classification, Alsatia is a carbonaceous C-type asteroid.[1]

Rotation period[edit]

Several rotational lightcurves of Alsatia have been obtained from photometric observations by Robert Stephens (2000),[11] Laurent Bernasconi (2005),[12] astronomer at the Oakley Southern Sky Observatory (2011),[14] Brian Warner (2011),[15] and Daniel Klinglesmith (2017).[13] Lightcurve analysis gave a consolidated rotation period of 9.614 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.17 to 0.29 magnitude (U=2/2/2/3/3-).[4][a]

Diameter and albedo[edit]

According to the surveys carried out by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite IRAS, the Japanese Akari satellite and the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Alsatia measures between 55.31 and 64.724 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.0403 and 0.05.[5][6][7][8][9][10]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link adopts the results obtained by IRAS, that is, an albedo of 0.0415 and a diameter of 63.75 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 10.05.[4][9]


This minor planet was named after the French province Alsace (regained from Germany after the WWI) in northeast France between the Rhine river and the Vosges mountains. In 1922, the discoverer proposed the name Alsace. However, the Astronomical Calculation Institute, then responsible for the naming of minor planets, changed the name in Alsatia;[2] the political status of Alsace has been heavily influenced by historical decisions, wars, and strategic politics.


  1. ^ a b Lightcurve plot of 971 Alsatia, Palmer Divide Observatory, Brian D. Warner (2011). Quality code of 3. Summary figures at the LCDB


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 971 Alsatia (1921 LF)" (2017-07-02 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(971) Alsatia". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (971) Alsatia. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 85. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_972. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "LCDB Data for (971) Alsatia". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  5. ^ 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:1606.08923. Bibcode:2016AJ....152...63N. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/3/63. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  6. ^ 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 2 November 2017.
  7. ^ 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 2 November 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d 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:1209.5794. Bibcode:2012ApJ...759L...8M. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/759/1/L8. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  9. ^ 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: IRAS-A-FPA-3-RDR-IMPS-V6.0. Bibcode:2004PDSS...12.....T. Archived from the original on 3 June 2016. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ a b Stephens, R. D. (September 2000). "Asteroid Photometry at Santana Observatory: Results for 691 Lehigh 762 Pulcova, and 971 Alsatia". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 27: 27–28. Bibcode:2000MPBu...27...27S. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  12. ^ a b Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (971) Alsatia". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  13. ^ a b Klinglesmith, Daniel A., III; Hendrickx, Sebastian; Kimber, Cameron; Madden, Karl (July 2017). "CCD Asteroid Photometry from Etscorn Observatory". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 44 (3): 244–246. Bibcode:2017MPBu...44..244K. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  14. ^ a b Melton, Elizabeth; Carver, Spencer; Harris, Andrew; Karnemaat, Ryan; Klaasse, Matthew; Ditteon, Richard (July 2012). "Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at the Oakley Southern Sky Observatory: 2011 November-December". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 39 (3): 131–133. Bibcode:2012MPBu...39..131M. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  15. ^ a b Warner, Brian D. (April 2012). "Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at the Palmer Divide Observatory: 2011 September - December". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 39 (2): 69–80. Bibcode:2012MPBu...39...69W. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  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:1506.00762. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 2 November 2017.
  17. ^ a b "971 Alsatia (1921 LF)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2 November 2017.

External links[edit]