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The asteroid 2685 Masursky is a main-belt asteroid. It was discovered by Edward (Ted) Bowell in 1981. It was named after Harold Masursky (1923–1990), a planetary geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, who worked on numerous space missions.

2685 Masursky
Asteroid 2685Masurky.png
Masursky imaged by Cassini–Huygens
Discovered by Edward L. G. Bowell
Discovery date 3 May 1981
MPC designation (2685) Masursky
Named after
Harold Masursky
1950 VO; 1973 QF;
1975 XJ5; 1977 KU;
1981 JN
Main belt (Eunomia family)
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 13 January 2016 (JD 2457400.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 15469 days (42.35 yr)
Aphelion 2.85094 AU (426.495 Gm)
Perihelion 2.28780 AU (342.250 Gm)
2.56937 AU (384.372 Gm)
Eccentricity 0.10959
4.12 yr (1504.3 d)
Inclination 12.1269°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 15–20 km
Mean density
~2.7 g/cm³ (estimate)[2]
Equatorial surface gravity
0.006–0.007 m/s²
Equatorial escape velocity
0.009–0.012 km/s

Little was known about Masursky until the Cassini space probe, en route to Jupiter and Saturn, flew past it on 23 January 2000. Because Cassini passed the asteroid at a distance of 1.6 million kilometres (about four times the EarthMoon distance), the images it returned showed nothing more than a dot. Nevertheless, Cassini was able to determine Masursky's size, about 15–20 km in diameter.[3] The asteroid was between 0.81 and 1.08 arcseconds in apparent diameter.

Masursky's orbit places it within the Eunomia family of S-type asteroids. Cassini's observations had cast some doubt on its composition, but later ground-based spectroscopy has confirmed its S-type spectrum.[4]


  1. ^ "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 2685 Masursky (1981 JN)". Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  2. ^ G. A. Krasinsky et al. Hidden Mass in the Asteroid Belt, Icarus, Vol. 158, p. 98 (2002).
  3. ^ NASA/JPL. "PIA02449 info page". Retrieved 19 July 2013. 
  4. ^ D. Lazzaro; T. Mothé-Diniz; J. M. Carvano; C. A. Angeli; A. S. Betzler; M. Florczak; et al. (1999). "The Eunomia Family: A Visible Spectroscopic Survey". Icarus. 142 (2): 445. Bibcode:1999Icar..142..445L. doi:10.1006/icar.1999.6213. 

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