(15874) 1996 TL66

(15874) 1996 TL66, provisional designation 1996 TL66, is a trans-Neptunian object of the scattered disc orbiting in the outermost region of the Solar System.[2][3]

(15874) 1996 TL66
Discovered byD. C. Jewitt
J. X. Luu
J. Chen
C. A. Trujillo
Discovery siteMauna Kea Obs.
Discovery date9 October 1996
(15874) 1996 TL66
1996 TL66
TNO[2] · SDO[3]
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 13 January 2016 (JD 2457400.5)
Uncertainty parameter 2
Observation arc5883 days (16.11 yr)
Aphelion131.75 AU (19.710 Tm)
Perihelion35.057 AU (5.2445 Tm)
83.403 AU (12.4769 Tm)
761.70 yr (278211 d)
0° 0m 4.658s / day
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
339±20 km[5]
575±115 km[6]
12 h (0.50 d)[2]
B–V = 0.687±0.072[7]
V–R = 0.369±0.052[7]

The Spitzer Space Telescope has estimated this object to be about 575 kilometres (357 mi) in diameter,[6] but 2012 estimates from the Herschel Space Observatory estimate the diameter as closer to 339 kilometres (211 mi).[5] It is not a detached object, since its perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) is under the influence of Neptune.[3] Light-curve-amplitude analysis suggests that it is a spheroid.[9] Tancredi presents "in the form of a decision tree, the set of questions to be considered in order to classify an object as an icy 'dwarf planet'." They find that (15874) 1996 TL66 is very probably a dwarf planet.[10] Mike Brown's website, using a radiometrically determined diameter of 344 kilometres (214 mi), lists it as a possible dwarf planet.[11]


Discovered in 1996 by David C. Jewitt et al., it was the first object to be categorized as a scattered-disk object (SDO), although (48639) 1995 TL8, discovered a year earlier, was later recognised as a scattered-disk object. It was considered one the largest known trans-Neptunian objects at the time of the discovery, being placed second after Pluto.[12] It came to perihelion in 2001.[2]

Orbit and sizeEdit

1996 TL66's orbit

(15874) 1996 TL66 orbits the Sun with a semi-major axis of 83.9 AU[2] but is currently only 35 AU from the Sun with an apparent magnitude of 21.[8] In 2007, the Spitzer Space Telescope estimated it to have a low albedo with a diameter of about 575±115 km.[6] More-recent measurements in 2012 by the 'TNOs are Cool' research project and reanalysis of older data have resulted in a new estimate of these figures.[5] It is now assumed that it has a higher albedo and the diameter was revised downward to 339±20 km. Light-curve-amplitude analysis shows only small deviations, suggesting (15874) 1996 TL66 is a spheroid with small albedo spots and may be a dwarf planet.[9]


  1. ^ "MPEC 1997-B18: 1996 TL66". Minor Planet Center. 1997-01-30. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 15874 (1996 TL66)" (2006-07-30 last obs). Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Marc W. Buie (2006-07-30). "Orbit Fit and Astrometric record for 15874". SwRI (Space Science Department). Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  4. ^ "List Of Centaurs and Scattered-Disk Objects". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  5. ^ a b c d Santos-Sanz, P.; et al. (2012). ""TNOs are Cool": A Survey of the Transneptunian Region IV. Size/albedo characterization of 15 scattered disk and detached objects observed with Herschel Space Observatory-PACS". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 541: A92. arXiv:1202.1481. Bibcode:2012A&A...541A..92S. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201118541. S2CID 118600525.
  6. ^ a b c d John Stansberry; Will Grundy; Mike Brown; Dale Cruikshank; John Spencer; David Trilling; et al. (2007). "Physical Properties of Kuiper Belt and Centaur Objects: Constraints from Spitzer Space Telescope". arXiv:astro-ph/0702538.
  7. ^ a b Hainaut, O. R.; Boehnhardt, H.; Protopapa, S. (October 2012). "Colours of minor bodies in the outer solar system. II. A statistical analysis revisited". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 546: 20. arXiv:1209.1896. Bibcode:2012A&A...546A.115H. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201219566. S2CID 54776793.
  8. ^ a b "AstDys (15874) 1996TL66 Ephemerides". Department of Mathematics, University of Pisa, Italy. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  9. ^ a b Tancredi, G., & Favre, S. (2008) Which are the dwarfs in the Solar System?. Depto. Astronomía, Fac. Ciencias, Montevideo, Uruguay; Observatorio Astronómico Los Molinos, MEC, Uruguay. Retrieved 10-08-2011
  10. ^ Tancredi, G. (2010). "Physical and dynamical characteristics of icy "dwarf planets" (plutoids)". Icy Bodies of the Solar System: Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 263, 2009. 263: 173. Bibcode:2010IAUS..263..173T. doi:10.1017/S1743921310001717.
  11. ^ Michael E. Brown. "How many dwarf planets are there in the outer solar system? (updates daily)". California Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  12. ^ "1996 TO66 -- Another Large Transneptunian Object". Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. 19 June 1997. Retrieved 18 July 2020.

External linksEdit