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10249 Harz, provisional designation 9515 P-L, is a background asteroid from the central regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) in diameter. It was discovered on 17 October 1960, by Ingrid and Cornelis van Houten at Leiden, and Tom Gehrels at Palomar Observatory in California, United States.[1] The assumed S-type asteroid is likely elongated and has a short rotation period of 3.63 hours.[4] It was named after the German mountain range Harz.[1]

10249 Harz
Discovery [1]
Discovered byC. J. van Houten
I. van Houten-G.
T. Gehrels
Discovery sitePalomar Obs.
Discovery date17 October 1960
MPC designation(10249) Harz
Named after
(German mountain range)
9515 P-L · 1985 TY
main-belt[1][2] · (middle)
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 23 March 2018 (JD 2458200.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc55.64 yr (20,323 d)
Aphelion2.8174 AU
Perihelion2.3354 AU
2.5764 AU
4.14 yr (1,510 d)
0° 14m 17.88s / day
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
3.15 km (calculated)[4]
3.59±0.26 km[5]
3.631±0.0006 h[6]
3.64±0.01 h[7]
0.20 (assumed)[4]
S (assumed)[4]
14.41±0.17 (R)[7]
14.426±0.003 (R)[6]


Orbit and classificationEdit

Harz is a non-family asteroid from the main belt's background population.[3] It orbits the Sun in the central main-belt at a distance of 2.3–2.8 AU once every 4 years and 2 months (1,510 days; semi-major axis of 2.58 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.09 and an inclination of 4° with respect to the ecliptic.[2] The body's observation arc begins with its official discovery observation at Palomar in October 1960.[1]

Palomar–Leiden surveyEdit

The survey designation "P-L" stands for Palomar–Leiden, named after Palomar Observatory and Leiden Observatory, which collaborated on the fruitful Palomar–Leiden survey in the 1960s. Gehrels used Palomar's Samuel Oschin telescope (also known as the 48-inch Schmidt Telescope), and shipped the photographic plates to Ingrid and Cornelis van Houten at Leiden Observatory where astrometry was carried out. The trio are credited with the discovery of several thousand asteroid discoveries.[9]

Physical characteristicsEdit

Harz is an assumed S-type asteroid, which agrees with the measured albedo (see below) by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE).[4]

Rotation periodEdit

In October 2010, and December 2014, two rotational lightcurves of Harz were obtained from photometric observations in the R-band by astronomers at the Palomar Transient Factory in California.[6][7] Lightcurve analysis gave a rotation period of 3.631 and 3.64 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.47 and 0.52 magnitude, respectively, indicating that the body has an elongated shape (U=2/2).[4]

Diameter and albedoEdit

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's WISE telescope, Harz measures between 3.59 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.26,[5] while the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for stony asteroids of 0.20 and calculates a diameter of 3.15 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 14.88.[4]


This minor planet was named after the Harz mountains, an old German mountain range where Silver was mined until the last century. Legend has it that the witches gathered on their broomsticks on a plateau in the Harz mountains on the first day of May. The legendary place where the witches danced is known as Hexentanzplatz.[1] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 1 May 2003 (M.P.C. 48390).[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "10249 Harz (9515 P-L)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 10249 Harz (9515 P-L)" (2016-06-08 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "LCDB Data for (10249) Harz". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  5. ^ 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" (PDF). The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 759 (1): 5. arXiv:1209.5794. Bibcode:2012ApJ...759L...8M. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/759/1/L8. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  6. ^ 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" (PDF). The Astronomical Journal. 150 (3): 35. arXiv:1504.04041. Bibcode:2015AJ....150...75W. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/150/3/75. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Chang, Chan-Kao; Lin, Hsing-Wen; Ip, Wing-Huen; Prince, Thomas A.; Kulkarni, Shrinivas R.; Levitan, David; et al. (December 2016). "Large Super-fast Rotator Hunting Using the Intermediate Palomar Transient Factory". The Astrophysical Journal Supplement Series. 227 (2): 13. arXiv:1608.07910. Bibcode:2016ApJS..227...20C. doi:10.3847/0067-0049/227/2/20. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  8. ^ 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" (PDF). Icarus. 261: 34–47. arXiv:1506.00762. Bibcode:2015Icar..261...34V. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2015.08.007. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Minor Planet Discoverers". Minor Planet Center. 2018. Retrieved 1 May 2018.
  10. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 1 May 2018.

External linksEdit