387 Aquitania

Aquitania (minor planet designation: 387 Aquitainia), provisional designation 1894 AZ, is a Postremian asteroid from the central regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 101 kilometers in diameter. Discovered by Fernand Courty at the Bordeaux Observatory in 1894, it was named for the French region of Aquitaine, the former province of Gallia Aquitania in the ancient Roman Empire.[1]

387 Aquitania
Discovered byF. Courty
Discovery siteBordeaux Obs.
Discovery date5 March 1894
(387) Aquitania
Named after
(Roman Gallia Aquitania)
1894 AZ · 1945 NA
1948 BG · 1953 EO1
main-belt · (middle)
Orbital characteristics[4]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc123.56 yr (45,132 days)
Aphelion3.3853 AU
Perihelion2.0964 AU
2.7409 AU
4.54 yr (1,657 days)
0° 13m 1.92s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions97.33±3.42 km[5]
100.51±2.9 km[6]
105.06±1.34 km[7]
Mass1.8×1018 kg[8][9]
Mean density
3.27 ± 1.11 g/cm3[10]
24.144 h (1.0060 d)[4]
Tholen = S[4]
SMASS = L[4]
B–V = 0.881[4]
U–B = 0.449[4]
7.41[4][5][6][7] · 7.44±0.02[11][12]


Aquitania was discovered by French astronomer Fernand Courty at the Bordeaux Observatory on 5 March 1894. It was second of his two asteroid discoveries.[13] The first was 384 Burdigala.

Classification and orbitEdit

Aquitania is the largest member of the Postrema family (541),[2] a mid-sized central asteroid family of little more than 100 members.[14]: 23  It orbits the Sun in the central main-belt at a distance of 2.1–3.4 AU once every 4 years and 6 months (1,657 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.24 and an inclination of 18° with respect to the ecliptic.[4]

Physical characteristicsEdit

In the Tholen and SMASS classification, Aquitania is an S-type and L-type asteroid, respectively.[4] Several rotational lightcurves of Aquitania have been obtained from photometric observations since the 1980s. Lightcurve analysis gave a consolidated rotation period of 24.144 hours with a brightness variation between 0.09 and 0.25 magnitude (U=3).

According to the surveys carried out by the Infrared Astronomical Satellite IRAS, the Japanese Akari satellite and the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Aquitania measures between 97.33 and 105.06 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo between 0.174 and 0.203.[5][6][7]

The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link adopts the results obtained by IRAS, that is an albedo of 0.19 and a diameter of 100.51 kilometers based on an absolute magnitude of 7.44.[11]


This minor planet was named for the Latin name of the French region of Aquitaine. Under Caesar the Roman region of Gallia Aquitania consisted of the country between the Pyrenees mountains and Garonne river. The region was later expanded to the Loire and Allier rivers under Augustus. The official naming citation was mentioned in The Names of the Minor Planets by Paul Herget in 1955 (H 42).[1]


  1. ^ a b c Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(387) Aquitania". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (387) Aquitania. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 47. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_388. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  2. ^ a b "Asteroid 387 Aquitania – Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0". Small Bodies Data Ferret. Retrieved 24 October 2019.
  3. ^ Noah Webster (1884) A Practical Dictionary of the English Language
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 387 Aquitania (1894 AZ)" (2017-09-30 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Archived from the original on 16 September 2020. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Grav, T.; Bauer, J. M.; Cutri, R. M.; Nugent, C.; et al. (November 2012). "Preliminary Analysis of WISE/NEOWISE 3-Band Cryogenic and Post-cryogenic Observations of Main Belt Asteroids". The Astrophysical Journal Letters. 759 (1): 5. arXiv:1209.5794. Bibcode:2012ApJ...759L...8M. doi:10.1088/2041-8205/759/1/L8. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d Tedesco, E. F.; Noah, P. V.; Noah, M.; Price, S. D. (October 2004). "IRAS Minor Planet Survey V6.0". NASA Planetary Data System. 12: IRAS-A-FPA-3-RDR-IMPS-V6.0. Bibcode:2004PDSS...12.....T. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  7. ^ a b c Usui, Fumihiko; Kuroda, Daisuke; Müller, Thomas G.; Hasegawa, Sunao; Ishiguro, Masateru; Ootsubo, Takafumi; et al. (October 2011). "Asteroid Catalog Using Akari: AKARI/IRC Mid-Infrared Asteroid Survey". Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan. 63 (5): 1117–1138. Bibcode:2011PASJ...63.1117U. doi:10.1093/pasj/63.5.1117. (online, AcuA catalog p. 153)
  8. ^ Michalak, G. (2001). "Determination of asteroid masses". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 374 (2): 703–711. Bibcode:2001A&A...374..703M. doi:10.1051/0004-6361:20010731. Archived from the original on 4 December 2012. Retrieved 11 November 2008.
  9. ^ (Mass estimate of Aquitania 0.0094 / Mass of Ceres 4.75) * Mass of Ceres 9.43E+20 = 1.866E+18
  10. ^ Carry, B. (December 2012), "Density of asteroids", Planetary and Space Science, 73 (1): 98–118, arXiv:1203.4336, Bibcode:2012P&SS...73...98C, doi:10.1016/j.pss.2012.03.009. See Table 1.
  11. ^ a b "LCDB Data for (387) Aquitania". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  12. ^ 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 19 October 2017.
  13. ^ "387 Aquitania (1894 AZ)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  14. ^ Nesvorný, D.; Broz, M.; Carruba, V. (December 2014). Identification and Dynamical Properties of Asteroid Families. Asteroids IV. pp. 297–321. arXiv:1502.01628. Bibcode:2015aste.book..297N. doi:10.2458/azu_uapress_9780816532131-ch016. ISBN 9780816532131.

External linksEdit