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2937 Gibbs, provisional designation 1980 LA, is a stony Phocaea asteroid and Mars-crosser from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 6 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 14 June 1980, by American astronomer Edward Bowell at Lowell's Anderson Mesa Station near Flagstaff, Arizona.[3] The asteroid was named after American scientist Josiah Willard Gibbs.[2]

2937 Gibbs
Discovery [1]
Discovered byE. Bowell
Discovery siteAnderson Mesa Stn.
Discovery date14 June 1980
MPC designation(2937) Gibbs
Named after
Josiah Willard Gibbs[2]
(American scientist)
1980 LA
Mars-crosser[1][3] · Phocaea[4][5]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc36.75 yr (13,424 days)
Aphelion3.0232 AU
Perihelion1.6160 AU
2.3196 AU
3.53 yr (1,290 days)
0° 16m 44.4s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions5.04±1.43 km[6]
5.99±1.20 km[7]
6.35 km (calculated)[4]
3.06±0.05 h[8]
3.06153±0.00006 h[8]
3.189±0.003 h[9][a]
0.23 (assumed)[4]
13.10[7] · 13.2[1][4] · 13.42[6]

Orbit and classificationEdit

Gibbs is a Mars-crossing asteroid, as it crosses the orbit of Mars at 1.666 AU.[1][3] It is also an eccentric member of the Phocaea family,[4][5] a large asteroid family of stony asteroids in the inner main-belt.[10]:23 Gibbs orbits the Sun at a distance of 1.6–3.0 AU once every 3 years and 6 months (1,290 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.30 and an inclination of 22° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

The asteroid's observation arc begins with its official discovery observation at Anderson Mesa. No prior identifications were made and no precoveries taken.[3]

Physical characteristicsEdit

Gibbs is an assumed stony S-type asteroid, which agrees with the overall spectral type of the Phocaea family.[10]:23

Rotation periodEdit

In 2005, two rotational lightcurves of Gibbs were obtained from photometric observations by Italian amateur astronomers Federico Manzini and Roberto Crippa. Lightcurve analysis gave a rotation period of 3.06 and 3.06153 hours with a brightness variation of 0.31 and 0.39 magnitude, respectively (U=2/3-).[8] In December 2016, Robert Stephens obtained a well-defined lightcurve at his Trojan Station (U81) that gave a period of 3.189 hours and an amplitude of 0.26 magnitude (U=3).[9][a]

Diameter and albedoEdit

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Gibbs measures between 5.04 and 5.99 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.283 and 0.30,[6][7] while the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes an albedo of 0.23 – derived from 25 Phocaea, the Phocaea family's largest member and namesake – and calculates a diameter of 6.35 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 13.2.[4]


This minor planet was named in memory of American mathematician and physicist Josiah Willard Gibbs (1839–1903), who contributed to the studies of asteroids through his work on orbits.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 17 February 1984 (M.P.C. 8544).[11] The lunar crater Gibbs was also named in his honor.[2]


  1. ^ a b Lightcurve plot for (2937) Gibbs. Robert D. Stephens (2016). Rotation period of 3.189±0.003 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.26 mag. Quality Code of 3. Summary figures at the CS3 website and at the LCDB


  1. ^ a b c d e f "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 2937 Gibbs (1980 LA)" (2017-03-16 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(2937) Gibbs". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2937) Gibbs. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 241–242. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_2938. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c d "2937 Gibbs (1980 LA)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "LCDB Data for (2937) Gibbs". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  5. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  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 15 September 2017.
  7. ^ a b c d Alí-Lagoa, V.; Delbo', M. (July 2017). "Sizes and albedos of Mars-crossing asteroids from WISE/NEOWISE data". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 603: 8. arXiv:1705.10263. Bibcode:2017A&A...603A..55A. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201629917.
  8. ^ a b c Behrend, Raoul. "Asteroids and comets rotation curves – (2937) Gibbs". Geneva Observatory. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  9. ^ a b Stephens, Robert D. (April 2017). "Asteroids Observed from CS3: 2016 October - December". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 44 (2): 120–122. Bibcode:2017MPBu...44..120S. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 15 September 2017.
  10. ^ a b Nesvorný, D.; Broz, M.; Carruba, V. (December 2014). Identification and Dynamical Properties of Asteroid Families. Asteroids IV. pp. 297–321. arXiv:1502.01628. doi:10.2458/azu_uapress_9780816532131-ch016. ISBN 9780816532131.
  11. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 15 September 2017.

External linksEdit