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3402 Wisdom, provisional designation 1981 PB, is a stony asteroid and Mars-crosser on an eccentric orbit from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) in diameter. It was discovered on 5 August 1981, by American astronomer Edward Bowell at Lowell's Anderson Mesa Station near Flagstaff, Arizona, in the United States.[3] The presumed bright S-type asteroid has a rotation period of 4.99 hours.[4] It was named after American planetary scientist Jack Wisdom.[2]

3402 Wisdom
Discovery [1]
Discovered byE. Bowell
Discovery siteAnderson Mesa Stn.
Discovery date5 August 1981
MPC designation(3402) Wisdom
Named after
Jack Wisdom[2]
(American planetary scientist)
1981 PB
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 23 March 2018 (JD 2458200.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc41.20 yr (15,047 d)
Aphelion2.7283 AU
Perihelion1.5352 AU
2.1317 AU
3.11 yr (1,137 d)
0° 19m 0.12s / day
Earth MOID0.5266 AU (205 LD)
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
2.05±0.49 km[5]
2.50±0.50 km[6]
2.59 km (derived)[4]
4.9949±0.0001 h[7]
4.9951±0.0001 h[a]
0.20 (assumed)[4]
S (assumed)[4]
14.85±0.11 (R)[a]

Orbit and classificationEdit

Wisdom is a Mars-crossing asteroid, a member of a dynamically unstable group, located between the main belt and the near-Earth populations, and crossing the orbit of Mars at 1.666 AU. It orbits the Sun at a distance of 1.5–2.7 AU once every 3 years and 1 month (1,137 days; semi-major axis of 2.13 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.28 and an inclination of 5° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

The body's observation arc begins with a precovery taken at Palomar Observatory in February 1977, more than 4 years prior to its official discovery observation at Anderson Mesa.[3]

Physical characteristicsEdit

Wisdom is an assumed stony S-type asteroid.[4]

Rotation periodEdit

In October 2006, two rotational lightcurves of Wisdom were obtained from photometric observations at Ondřejov, Skalnaté pleso and Carbuncle Hill observatories (912;I00). Lightcurve analysis gave a well-defined rotation period of 4.9949 and 4.9951 hours with a high brightness variation of 0.75 and 0.74 magnitude, respectively (U=3/3).[7][a] A high brightness amplitude typically indicate that the body has an elongated rather than spherical shape.

Diameter and albedoEdit

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Wisdom measures 2.05 and 2.50 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.32 and 0.283, respectively.[5][6] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for stony asteroids of 0.20 and derives a diameter of 2.59 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 15.34.[4]

With a mean-diameter of approximately 2.5 kilometers, Wisdom is one of the smaller mid-sized Mars-crossing asteroids. It is assumed that there are up to 10 thousand Mars-crossers larger than 1 kilometer.[10] The largest members of this dynamical group are 132 Aethra, 323 Brucia, 2204 Lyyli and 512 Taurinensis, which measure between 43 and 25 kilometers in diameter.


This minor planet was named after Jack Wisdom (born 1953), a dynamicist and professor of planetary sciences at MIT. Wisdom pioneered in the study of the dynamics and long-term stability of the Solar System, and demonstrated the dynamical mechanism for the clearing of asteroid in the Kirkwood gaps of the asteroid belt.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 2 February 1988 (M.P.C. 12803).[11]


  1. ^ a b c Pravec October (2006) web: lightcurve plot of (3402) Wisdom, with a rotation period 4.9951±0.0001 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.74±0.02 mag. Quality Code of 3. Observation in the R-band. Absolute magnitude of 14.85±0.11. Summary figures at LCDB and Ondrejov Asteroid Photometry Project (see data sheet)


  1. ^ a b c d e "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 3402 Wisdom (1981 PB)" (2018-04-24 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(3402) Wisdom". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (3402) Wisdom. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. pp. 283–284. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_3402. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c "3402 Wisdom (1981 PB)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "LCDB Data for (3402) Wisdom". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b Pray, Donald P.; Kusnirak, Peter; Galad, Adrian; Vilagi, Jozef; Kornos, Leos; Gajdos, Stefan; et al. (June 2007). "Lightcurve Analysis of Asteroids 2006 BQ6, 2942, 2943 3402, 3533, 6497, 6815, 7033, 12336, and 14211". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 34 (2): 44–46. Bibcode:2007MPBu...34...44P. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  8. ^ 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 26 October 2017.
  9. ^ Pravec, Petr; Harris, Alan W.; Kusnirák, Peter; Galád, Adrián; Hornoch, Kamil (September 2012). "Absolute magnitudes of asteroids and a revision of asteroid albedo estimates from WISE thermal observations". Icarus. 221 (1): 365–387. Bibcode:2012Icar..221..365P. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2012.07.026. Retrieved 26 October 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 (3): 369–381. Bibcode:1985MNRAS.215..369S. doi:10.1093/mnras/215.3.369. ISSN 0035-8711. Retrieved 26 October 2017.
  11. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 26 October 2017.

External linksEdit