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4034 Vishnu, provisional designation 1986 PA, is a rare-type asteroid classified as near-Earth object and potentially hazardous asteroid of the Apollo group, approximately 0.4 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 2 August 1986, by American astronomer Eleanor Helin at Palomar Observatory in California, United States. It is named after the Hindu deity Vishnu.[2]

4034 Vishnu
Discovery [1]
Discovered byE. F. Helin
Discovery sitePalomar Obs.
Discovery date2 August 1986
MPC designation(4034) Vishnu
Named after
Vishnu (Hindu deity)[2]
1986 PA
Apollo · NEO · PHA[1][2]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 6 January 2010 (JD 2455202.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc28.93 yr (10,565 days)
Aphelion1.5299 AU
Perihelion0.5891 AU
1.0595 AU
1.09 yr (398 days)
0° 54m 13.32s / day
Earth MOID0.0194 AU · 7.6 LD
Physical characteristics
Dimensions0.42 km[3]
SMASS = O [1]


Classification and orbitEdit

Vishnu orbits the Sun at a distance of 0.6–1.5 AU once every 1 years and 1 month (398 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.44 and an inclination of 11° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] As no precoveries were taken, and no prior identifications were made, the body's observation arc begins with its official discovery observation at Palomar in 1986.[2]

Vishnu is a potentially hazardous asteroid due to its sufficiently large size and low Earth minimum orbital intersection distance of 0.0194 AU (2,900,000 km), which corresponds to 7.6 lunar distances.[1]

Its highly eccentric orbit crosses the orbits of all inner planets except that of Mercury, which effectively makes it a Venus-crosser, Earth-crosser and Mars-crosser all at once. From 1800 to 2200, Vishnu has made and will make multiple approaches of Venus (71×), Earth (29×), and Mars (7×) within 30 gigameters. It has been observed by radar astronomy (Binzel) and the orbital solution includes non-gravitational forces.[1]

Physical parametersEdit

In the SMASS taxonomy, Vishnu is a rare O-type asteroid, meaning it is similar to the asteroid 3628 Boznemcová, which is the best asteroid match to the spectra of L6 and LL6 ordinary chondrite meteorites. These L and LL chondrites have lower iron metal content, but higher iron oxide content in the silicates.[1]

In the early 2000s, Vishnu has been observed in the thermal-infrared by the Keck telescope on Mauna Kea, Hawaii. The asteroid measures approximately 420 meters in diameter and its surface has a high albedo of 0.520.[3] As of 2017, Vishnu's rotation period and shape remain unknown as no lightcurves have yet been obtained.[4]


This minor planet was named for the four-armed god of protection and preservation of good, Vishnu, one of the principal deities of Hinduism. The asteroid's name was proposed by Belgian amateur astronomer and professional meteorologist Jean Meeus.[2][5] The approved naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 15 July 2011 (M.P.C. 75547).[6]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 4034 Vishnu (1986 PA)" (2015-07-06 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 4 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e "4034 Vishnu (1986 PA)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c Delbó, Marco; Harris, Alan W.; Binzel, Richard P.; Pravec, Petr; Davies, John K. (November 2003). "Keck observations of near-Earth asteroids in the thermal infrared". Icarus. 166 (1): 116–130. Bibcode:2003Icar..166..116D. doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2003.07.002. Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  4. ^ "LCDB Data for (4034) Vishnu". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 14 March 2017.
  5. ^ Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). "(2213) Meeus". Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (2213) Meeus. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 180. doi:10.1007/978-3-540-29925-7_2214. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3.
  6. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 14 March 2017.

External linksEdit