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22740 Rayleigh, provisional designation 1998 SX146, is a Zhongguo asteroid from the outermost region of the asteroid belt, approximately 10 kilometers (6 miles) in diameter. It was discovered on 20 September 1998, by Belgian astronomer Eric Elst at the La Silla Observatory in Chile. It is one of few asteroids located in the 2 : 1 resonance with Jupiter. The asteroid was named for English physicist and Nobel laureate Lord Rayleigh.[2]

22740 Rayleigh
Discovery [1]
Discovered byE. W. Elst
Discovery siteLa Silla Obs.
Discovery date20 September 1998
MPC designation(22740) Rayleigh
Named after
Lord Rayleigh[2]
(English physicist)
1998 SX146 · 1986 SN
main-belt[2] · (outer)[1]
background[3] · Zhongguo[4]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 23 March 2018 (JD 2458200.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc31.32 yr (11,438 d)
Aphelion3.9380 AU
Perihelion2.5473 AU
3.2426 AU
5.84 yr (2,133 d)
0° 10m 7.68s / day
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
9.819±2.434 km[5]

Orbit and classificationEdit

Rayleigh is a non-family asteroid from the main belt's background population. It is a member of the small group of Zhongguo asteroids, located in the Hecuba gap (2 : 1 mean motion resonance with Jupiter) near 3.27 AU. Contrary to the nearby unstable Griqua group, the orbits of the Zhongguos are stable over half a billion years.[3][4]

It orbits the Sun in the outer asteroid belt at a distance of 2.5–3.9 AU once every 5 years and 10 months (2,133 days; semi-major axis of 3.24 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.21 and an inclination of 3° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The body's observation arc begins with its observations as 1986 SN at Klet Observatory in September 1986, or 13 years prior to its official discovery observation at La Silla.[2]

Physical characteristicsEdit

Diameter and albedoEdit

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Rayleigh measures 9.819 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.088.[5]

Rotation periodEdit

As of 2018, no rotational lightcurve of Rayleigh has been obtained from photometric observations. The body's rotation period, pole and shape remain unknown.[1][6]


This minor planet was named after English physicist John William Strutt, 3rd Baron Rayleigh (Lord Rayleigh; 1842–1919), who discovered the noble gas argon and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1904 (also see list of laureates).[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 1 June 2007 (M.P.C. 59923).[7] The lunar crater Rayleigh as well as the crater Rayleigh on Mars are also named in his honor.[8][9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 22740 Rayleigh (1998 SX146)" (2018-01-23 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e "22740 Rayleigh (1998 SX146)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Asteroid 22740 Rayleigh – Proper Elements". AstDyS-2, Asteroids – Dynamic Site. Retrieved 29 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b Roig, F.; Nesvorný, D.; Ferraz-Mello, S. (September 2002). "Asteroids in the 2 : 1 resonance with Jupiter: dynamics and size distribution [ Erratum: 2002MNRAS.336.1391R ]". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 335 (2): 417–431. Bibcode:2002MNRAS.335..417R. doi:10.1046/j.1365-8711.2002.05635.x. Retrieved 31 March 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Nugent, C. R.; Mainzer, A.; Masiero, J.; Bauer, J.; Cutri, R. M.; Grav, T.; et al. (December 2015). "NEOWISE Reactivation Mission Year One: Preliminary Asteroid Diameters and Albedos". The Astrophysical Journal. 814 (2): 13. arXiv:1509.02522. Bibcode:2015ApJ...814..117N. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/814/2/117. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  6. ^ "LCDB Data for (22740) Rayleigh". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  7. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 31 January 2018.
  8. ^ "Lunar crater Rayleigh". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.
  9. ^ "Martian crater Rayleigh". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology Research Program.

External linksEdit