1322 Coppernicus

1322 Coppernicus, provisional designation 1934 LA, is a stony background asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 10 kilometers in diameter. Discovered by Karl Reinmuth at Heidelberg Observatory in 1934, the asteroid was later named after Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.[2][12]

1322 Coppernicus
001322-asteroid shape model (1322) Coppernicus.png
Shape model of Coppernicus from its lightcurve
Discovery [1]
Discovered byK. Reinmuth
Discovery siteHeidelberg Obs.
Discovery date15 June 1934
(1322) Coppernicus
Named after
Nicolaus Copernicus[2]
(Polish astronomer)
1934 LA
main-belt · (inner)[3]
background [4]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc83.38 yr (30,455 days)
Aphelion2.9898 AU
Perihelion1.8547 AU
2.4222 AU
3.77 yr (1,377 days)
0° 15m 41.04s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions9.80 km (derived)[3]
9.996±0.203 km[5]
10.04±0.34 km[6]
10.192±0.029 km[7]
10.70±0.19 km[8]
3.967 h[9]
5.375±0.006 h[10]
0.20 (assumed)[3]
S (Tholen)[3]
B–V = 0.887[1]
U–B = 0.321[1]
12.30[1][6] · 12.41[3][7][9] · 12.70[8] · 12.75±0.31[11]


Coppernicus was discovered on 15 June 1934, by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth at the Heidelberg-Königstuhl State Observatory in southwest Germany.[12] On the same night, it was independently discovered by Belgian astronomer Eugène Delporte at Uccle Observatory.[2] The Minor Planet Center only recognizes the first discoverer.[12]

Orbit and classificationEdit

Coppernicus is a non-family asteroid from the main belt's background population.[4] It orbits the Sun in the inner asteroid belt at a distance of 1.9–3.0 AU once every 3 years and 9 months (1,377 days; semi-major axis of 2.42 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.23 and an inclination of 23° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The body's observation arc begins at Heidelberg/Uccle in June 1934, on the night of its official discovery observation.[12]

Physical characteristicsEdit

In the Tholen classification, Coppernicus is a common, stony S-type asteroid.[3]

Rotation periodEdit

Published in 1991, a first rotational lightcurve of Coppernicus was obtained by Polish astronomer Wiesław Wiśniewski. Lightcurve analysis gave a relatively short rotation period of 3.967 hours with a brightness variation of 0.22 magnitude (U=2).[9] In 2006, photometric observations by Italian astronomer Federico Manzini gave a tentative period of 5.37 and 5.375 hours with an amplitude of 0.01 and 0.04, respectively (U=1/2).[10]

Diameter and albedoEdit

According to the surveys carried out by the Japanese Akari satellite and the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Coppernicus measures between 9.996 and 10.70 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.133 and 0.211.[5][6][7][8]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for stony asteroids of 0.20 and derives a diameter of 9.80 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 12.41.[3]


This minor planet was named after Polish astronomer and mathematician Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543), the founder of modern astronomy who formulated the heliocentric model that placed the Sun rather than the Earth at the center of the Universe. The official naming citation was mentioned in The Names of the Minor Planets by Paul Herget in 1955 (H 120). The lunar crater Copernicus as well as the Martian crater Copernicus are both named in his honor.[2] The asteroid's unusual spelling, "Coppernicus", is attributed to German biographer Leopold Prowe.[a]


  1. ^ The name's spelling with pp was used by Nicolaus Copernicus himself in most cases, especially in official documents. Based on over two dozen signatures of the astronomers, of which more than 74% use the spelling with two p, Prowe and Curtze came to the conclusion that the form Coppernicus is the best form to represent the chosen name of the astronomer (and the form Koppernick for his family). - Maximilian Curtze (de): Ueber die Orthographie des Namens Coppernicus., in the foreword to Nicolaus Coppernicus aus Thorn über die Kreisbewegungen der Weltkörper, 1879 (from German wikisource)


  1. ^ a b c d e f "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1322 Coppernicus (1934 LA)" (2017-11-01 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(1322) Coppernicus". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1322) Coppernicus. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 108. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_1323. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "LCDB Data for (1322) Coppernicus". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Asteroid 1322 Coppernicus – Proper Elements". AstDyS-2, Asteroids – Dynamic Site. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  5. ^ 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:1406.6645. Bibcode:2014ApJ...791..121M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/121.
  6. ^ 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 30 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". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90.
  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 Wisniewski, W. Z. (March 1991). "Physical studies of small asteroids. I - Lightcurves and taxonomy of 10 asteroids". Icarus. 90 (1): 117–122. Bibcode:1991Icar...90..117W. doi:10.1016/0019-1035(91)90073-3. ISSN 0019-1035. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  10. ^ a b Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (1322) Coppernicus". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  11. ^ 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 30 November 2017.
  12. ^ a b c d "1322 Coppernicus (1934 LA)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 30 November 2017.

External linksEdit