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1282 Utopia (/jˈtpiə/ yoo-TOH-pee-ə), provisional designation 1933 QM1, is a dark asteroid from the outer regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 55 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 17 August 1933, by South African astronomer Cyril Jackson at the Union Observatory in Johannesburg.[15] The asteroid was named after the fictional island of Utopia.[2]

1282 Utopia
Discovery [1]
Discovered byC. Jackson
Discovery siteJohannesburg Obs.
Discovery date17 August 1933
MPC designation(1282) Utopia
Pronunciation/jˈtpiə/ yoo-TOH-pee-ə
Named after
(fictional island society)
1933 QM1 · 1930 CA
1933 QB1 · 1933 RF
1939 RB · 1955 SO1
main-belt · (outer)[3]
background [4]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc84.09 yr (30,715 days)
Aphelion3.5049 AU
Perihelion2.7293 AU
3.1171 AU
5.50 yr (2,010 days)
0° 10m 44.76s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions52.91 km (derived)[3]
53.07±3.7 km[5]
54.48±19.56 km[6]
57.702±0.300 km[7]
58.77±0.72 km[8]
64.414±0.843 km[9]
64.71±0.58 km[10]
13.60±0.05 h[11]
13.61±0.01 h[12]
13.6228±0.0005 h[13]
13.623±0.002 h[14]
0.0479 (derived)[3]
P[9] · C (assumed)[3]
10.00[5][8][9] · 10.20[10] · 10.27[6] · 10.3[1][3]

Orbit and classificationEdit

Utopia is a non-family asteroid from the main belt's background population.[4] It orbits the Sun in the outer asteroid belt at a distance of 2.7–3.5 AU once every 5 years and 6 months (2,010 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.12 and an inclination of 18° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

The asteroid was first identified as 1930 CA at Simeiz Observatory in February 1930. The body's observation arc begins at the Johannesburg Observatory in September 1933, about three weeks after its official discovery observation.[15]

Physical characteristicsEdit

Utopia has been characterized as a dark an primitive P-type asteroid by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.[9] It is also an assumed carbonaceous C-type asteroid.[3]

Rotation period and poleEdit

In November 2000, photometric observations by Brian Warner at the Palmer Divide Observatory (716) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, were used to build a lightcurve for Utopia. The asteroid displayed a rotation period of 13.61 hours and a brightness variation of 0.28 magnitude, revised from a previous publication that gave 13.60 hours and an amplitude of 0.29 (U=3/3).[11][12][a] In September 2005, French amateur astronomers Laurent Bernasconi, Raymond Poncy and Pierre Antonini obtained a lightcurve with a concurring period of 13.623 hours and an amplitude of 0.36 magnitude (U=3).[14]

In 2011, a modeled lightcurve using data from the Uppsala Asteroid Photometric Catalogue (UAPC) and other sources gave a sidereal period 13.6228 hours, as well as a fragmentary spin axis of (n.a., -39.0°) in ecliptic coordinates (λ, β).[13]

Diameter and albedoEdit

According to the surveys carried out by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite IRAS, the Japanese Akari satellite and the NEOWISE mission of NASA's WISE telescope, Utopia measures between 53.07 and 64.71 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.035 and 0.0627.[5][6][7][8][9][10]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link derives an albedo of 0.0479 and a diameter of 52.91 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 10.3.[3]


This minor planet was named after Utopia, the imaginary place that possesses highly desirable or nearly perfect qualities for its citizens, especially in laws, government, and social conditions. The term "utopia" was coined from Greek by English statesman and author Sir Thomas More (1478–1535) for his 16th century book Utopia, describing a fictional island society in the south Atlantic Ocean off the coast of South America. The official naming citation was mentioned in The Names of the Minor Planets by Paul Herget in 1955 (H 117).[2]


  1. ^ Lightcurve plot of 1282 Utopia, Palmer Divide Observatory, Brian D. Warner (2000): rotation period 13.61±0.01 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.28±0.01 mag. Summary figures at the LCDB.


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1282 Utopia (1933 QM1)" (2017-09-30 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(1282) Utopia". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1282) Utopia. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 106. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_1283. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "LCDB Data for (1282) Utopia". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d Tedesco, E. F.; Noah, P. V.; Noah, M.; Price, S. D. (October 2004). "IRAS Minor Planet Survey V6.0". NASA Planetary Data System. 12: IRAS-A-FPA-3-RDR-IMPS-V6.0. Bibcode:2004PDSS...12.....T. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  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:1606.08923. Bibcode:2016AJ....152...63N. doi:10.3847/0004-6256/152/3/63. Retrieved 24 October 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 24 October 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 17 October 2019. (online, AcuA catalog p. 153)
  9. ^ a b c d e f 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.
  10. ^ 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 24 October 2017.
  11. ^ a b Warner, B. (June 2001). "Asteroid Photometry at the Palmer Divide Observatory". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 28: 30–32. Bibcode:2001MPBu...28...30W. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  12. ^ a b Warner, Brian D. (January 2011). "Upon Further Review: IV. An Examination of Previous Lightcurve Analysis from the Palmer Divide Observatory". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 38 (1): 52–54. Bibcode:2011MPBu...38...52W. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  13. ^ a b Hanus, J.; Durech, J.; Broz, M.; Warner, B. D.; Pilcher, F.; Stephens, R.; et al. (June 2011). "A study of asteroid pole-latitude distribution based on an extended set of shape models derived by the lightcurve inversion method". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 530: 16. arXiv:1104.4114. Bibcode:2011A&A...530A.134H. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201116738. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  14. ^ a b Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (1282) Utopia". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
  15. ^ a b "1282 Utopia (1933 QM1)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 24 October 2017.

External linksEdit