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3851 Alhambra, provisional designation 1986 UZ, is a stony Flora asteroid and relatively slow rotator from the inner regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 7 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 30 October 1986, by Japanese astronomer Tsutomu Seki at Geisei Observatory in Kōchi, Japan.[8] The asteroid was named for the World Heritage Site Alhambra, in Granada, Spain.[2]

3851 Alhambra
Discovery [1]
Discovered byT. Seki
Discovery siteGeisei Obs.
Discovery date30 October 1986
MPC designation(3851) Alhambra
Named after
(World Heritage Site)[2]
1986 UZ · 1950 MC
1960 RA · 1965 CD
1973 SE4 · 1973 ST2
main-belt · Flora[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc66.95 yr (24,452 days)
Aphelion2.3148 AU
Perihelion2.0338 AU
2.1743 AU
3.21 yr (1,171 days)
0° 18m 26.64s / day
Physical characteristics
6.51 km (calculated)[3]
6.813±0.036 km[5]
53 h[6]
0.24 (assumed)[3]
13.0[5] · 13.1[1][3] · 13.78±0.00[7]

Orbit and classificationEdit

The S-type asteroid is a member of the Flora family, one of the largest groups of stony asteroids in the main-belt. It orbits the Sun in the inner main-belt at a distance of 2.0–2.3 AU once every 3 years and 3 months (1,171 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.06 and an inclination of 5° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] The first precovery was taken at La Plata Astronomical Observatory in 1950, extending the asteroid's observation arc by 36 years prior to its discovery.[8]

Physical characteristicsEdit

A rotational lightcurve of Alhambra was obtained from photometric observations made at the Australian Hunters Hill Observatory (E14) in March 2007. It rendered a long rotation period of 53 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.35 in magnitude (U=2).[6] While not being a slow rotator, Alhambra's period is much longer than that of most asteroids.

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's space-based Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Alhambra measures 6.5 and 6.8 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.218 and 0.242, respectively,[4][5] while the Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes an albedo of 0.24 – derived from 8 Flora, the largest member and namesake of this orbital family – and calculates a diameter of 6.5 kilometers with an absolute magnitude of 13.1.[3]


This minor planet was named for the Alhambra ("the red one"), the famous medieval palace and fortress complex of the Moorish emirs, located in Granada, Andalusia, Spain. The place with its Islamic architecture is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Spain's major tourist attractions. The virtuoso classical guitarist Andrés Segovia, after whom the minor planet 3822 Segovia is named, had the piece Recuerdos de la Alhambra (Memories of the Alhambra) in his repertoire.[2] The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 21 April 1989 (M.P.C. 14482).[9]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 3851 Alhambra (1986 UZ)" (2017-06-05 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(3851) Alhambra". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (3851) Alhambra. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 327. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_3843. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "LCDB Data for (3851) Alhambra". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  4. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Grav, T.; Mainzer, A. K.; Nugent, C. R.; Bauer, J. M.; Stevenson, R.; et al. (August 2014). "Main-belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE: Near-infrared Albedos". The Astrophysical Journal. 791 (2): 11. arXiv:1406.6645. Bibcode:2014ApJ...791..121M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/121. Retrieved 5 December 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.; Hand, E.; Bauer, J.; Tholen, D.; et al. (November 2011). "NEOWISE Studies of Spectrophotometrically Classified Asteroids: Preliminary Results". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. arXiv:1109.6407. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  6. ^ a b Higgins, David; Oey, Julian (September 2007). "Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at Hunters Hill Observatory and Collaborating Stations - December 2006 - April 2007". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 34 (3): 79–80. Bibcode:2007MPBu...34...79H. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved 21 December 2015.
  7. ^ 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 12 May 2016.
  8. ^ a b "3851 Alhambra (1986 UZ)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  9. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 12 May 2016.

External linksEdit