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3794 Sthenelos (/ˈθɛnɪləs/ THEN-ə-ləs), provisional designation 1985 TF3, is a mid-sized Jupiter trojan from the Greek camp, approximately 40 kilometers (25 miles) in diameter. It was discovered on 12 October 1985, by American astronomer Carolyn Shoemaker at the Palomar Observatory in California.[1] The presumed C-type asteroid has a rotation period of 12.9 hours.[6] It was named after the Greek warrior Sthenelus from Greek mythology.[1]

3794 Sthenelos
Discovery [1]
Discovered byC. Shoemaker
Discovery sitePalomar Obs.
Discovery date12 October 1985
MPC designation(3794) Sthenelos
Pronunciation/ˈθɛnɪləs/ · THEN-ə-ləs
Named after
(Greek mythology)
1985 TF3 · 1949 SA
1973 SU2
Jupiter trojan[1][2]
Greek[3] · background[4]
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 23 March 2018 (JD 2458200.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc68.67 yr (25,081 d)
Aphelion5.9670 AU
Perihelion4.4441 AU
5.2056 AU
11.88 yr (4,338 d)
0° 4m 58.8s / day
Jupiter MOID0.2224 AU
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
34.53±0.36 km[5]
46.30 km (calculated)[6]
12.877±0.016 h[7]
0.057 (assumed)[6]
C (assumed)[6]
V–I = 1.070±0.048[6]

Orbit and classificationEdit

Sthenelos is a dark Jovian asteroid in a 1:1 orbital resonance with Jupiter. It is located in the leading Greek camp at the Gas Giant's L4 Lagrangian point, 60° ahead on its orbit (see Trojans in astronomy). It is also a non-family asteroid of the Jovian background population.[4] It orbits the Sun at a distance of 4.4–6.0 AU once every 11 years and 11 months (4,338 days; semi-major axis of 5.21 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.15 and an inclination of 6° with respect to the ecliptic.[2]

The body's observation arc begins with its first observation as 1949 SA at Heidelberg Observatory in September 1949, or 36 years prior to its official discovery observation at Palomar.[1]

Physical characteristicsEdit

Sthenelos is an assumed, carbonaceous C-type asteroid, while most larger Jupiter trojans are D-type asteroids. It has a high V–I color index of 1.07.[6]

Rotation periodEdit

In August 1995, a rotational lightcurve of Sthenelos was obtained from photometric observations by Italian astronomer Stefano Mottola using the Bochum 0.61-metre Telescope at ESO's La Silla Observatory in Chile. Lightcurve analysis gave a well-defined rotation period of 12.877±0.016 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.27 magnitude (U=3).[6][7]

Diameter and albedoEdit

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Sthenelos measures 34.53 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.112,[5] while the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for a carbonaceous asteroid of 0.057 and calculates a diameter of 46.30 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 10.4.[6]


This minor planet was named from Greek mythology after Sthenelus, a Greek warrior and companion of Diomedes during the Trojan War. He stole Aeneas' chariot horses and brought it back to the Greek camp. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 27 August 1988 (M.P.C. 13482).[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "3794 Sthenelos (1985 TF3)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 3794 Sthenelos (1985 TF3)" (2018-05-25 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  3. ^ "List of Jupiter Trojans". Minor Planet Center. 1 June 2018. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Asteroid (3794) Sthenelos – Proper Elements". AstDyS-2, Asteroids – Dynamic Site. Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d Grav, T.; Mainzer, A. K.; Bauer, J. M.; Masiero, J. R.; Nugent, C. R. (November 2012). "WISE/NEOWISE Observations of the Jovian Trojan Population: Taxonomy". The Astrophysical Journal. 759 (1): 10. arXiv:1209.1549. Bibcode:2012ApJ...759...49G. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/759/1/49. (online catalog)
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i "LCDB Data for (3794) Sthenelos". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 21 June 2018.
  7. ^ a b Mottola, Stefano; Di Martino, Mario; Erikson, Anders; Gonano-Beurer, Maria; Carbognani, Albino; Carsenty, Uri; et al. (May 2011). "Rotational Properties of Jupiter Trojans. I. Light Curves of 80 Objects". The Astronomical Journal. 141 (5): 32. Bibcode:2011AJ....141..170M. doi:10.1088/0004-6256/141/5/170.
  8. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 21 June 2018.

External linksEdit