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2000 Herschel, provisional designation 1960 OA, is a stony Phocaea asteroid and a tumbling slow rotator from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 17 kilometers in diameter.

2000 Herschel
Discovery [1]
Discovered by J. Schubart
Discovery site Sonneberg Obs.
Discovery date 29 July 1960
MPC designation (2000) Herschel
Named after
William Herschel[2]
1960 OA · 1934 NX
main-belt · (inner)[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 82.80 yr (30,241 days)
Aphelion 3.0888 AU
Perihelion 1.6741 AU
2.3814 AU
Eccentricity 0.2970
3.68 yr (1,342 days)
18.87 km/s
0° 16m 5.52s / day
Inclination 22.791°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 14.768±0.348[5]
17 km[6][7]
130±2 h[3]
Tholen = S[1][3]
B–V = 0.893[1]
U–B = 0.494[1]

It was discovered 29 July 1960, by German astronomer Joachim Schubart at Sonneberg Observatory in eastern Germany.[8] It is named after astronomer William Herschel.[2]


Orbit and classificationEdit

Herschel is a member of the Phocaea family (701),[4] a large family of stony asteroids with nearly two thousand known members.[9]:23 It orbits the Sun in the inner main-belt at a distance of 1.7–3.1 AU once every 3 years and 8 months (1,342 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.30 and an inclination of 23° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] It was first identified as 1934 NX at Johannesburg Observatory in 1934, extending the body's observation arc by 26 years prior to its official discovery observation at Sonneberg.[8]

The relatively high orbital eccentricity of this object causes it to come close to the orbit of the planet Mars. This means there is a chance it will eventually collide with the planet, with the odds of a collision estimated at 18% per billion orbits.[10]

Physical characteristicsEdit

In the Tholen classification, Herschel is a common S-type asteroid.[1]

Slow rotator and tumblerEdit

Analysis of the lightcurve for this object appears to show that it is tumbling, with rotation occurring about the non-principal axis. Lightcurve analysis gave a rotation period of 130±3 hours with a high brightness variation of 1.16±0.05 magnitude (U=2).[11] This makes is a slow rotator.


This minor planet was named in honour of the English astronomer of German origin William Herschel (1738–1822), who discovered Uranus. While the minor planet with number "1000", 1000 Piazzia, honours the discoverer of the first minor planet, Giuseppe Piazzi, number "2000" does so for Herschel, discoverer of the first telescopic major planet.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 2000 Herschel (1960 OA)" (2017-04-28 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 10 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2000) Herschel. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 162. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "LCDB Data for (2000) Herschel". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  4. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  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. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  6. ^ a b 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 23 August 2016.
  7. ^ a b 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. Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  8. ^ a b "2000 Herschel (1960 OA)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  9. ^ Nesvorný, D.; Broz, M.; Carruba, V. (December 2014). "Identification and Dynamical Properties of Asteroid Families" (PDF). Asteroids IV: 297–321. arXiv:1502.01628. doi:10.2458/azu_uapress_9780816532131-ch016. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  10. ^ Steel, D. I. (August 1985), "Collisions in the solar systems. II - Asteroid impacts upon Mars", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 215: 369–381, Bibcode:1985MNRAS.215..369S, doi:10.1093/mnras/215.3.369.
  11. ^ Warner, Brian D. (April 2011). "Upon Further Review: VI. An Examination of Previous Lightcurve Analysis from the Palmer Divide Observatory". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 38 (2): 96–101. Bibcode:2011MPBu...38...96W. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 23 August 2016.

External linksEdit