1809 Prometheus

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1809 Prometheus
Discovery [1]
Discovered by C. J. van Houten
I. van Houten-G.
T. Gehrels
(Palomar–Leiden survey)
Discovery site Palomar Obs.
Discovery date 24 September 1960
MPC designation (1809) Prometheus
Pronunciation /prəˈmθiəs/ prə-MEE-thee-əs
Named after
(Greek mythology)[2]
2522 P-L · 1943 EA1
1955 SW · 1955 VA
1965 UR
main-belt · (outer)
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 16 February 2017 (JD 2457800.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 60.41 yr (22,065 days)
Aphelion 3.2258 AU
Perihelion 2.6249 AU
2.9254 AU
Eccentricity 0.1027
5.00 yr (1,828 days)
0° 11m 49.2s / day
Inclination 3.2584°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 14.212±0.097 km[3]

1809 Prometheus, provisional designation 2522 P-L, is an asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 14 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 24 September 1960, by the Dutch astronomer couple Ingrid and Cornelis Johannes van Houten at Leiden, on photographic plates taken by Dutch–American astronomer Tom Gehrels at Palomar, California, in the United States.[4] On the same night, the team of astronomers discovered several other minor planets including 1810 Epimetheus.

Prometheus orbits the Sun at a distance of 2.6–3.2 AU once every 5.00 years (1,828 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.10 and an inclination of 3° with respect to the ecliptic.[1] Prometheus was first identified as 1943 EA1 at the Hungarian Konkoly Observatory in 1943. In 1955, its first used observation was taken at Goethe Link Observatory, when it was identified as 1955 SW, extending the body's observation arc by 5 years prior to its official discovery observation.[4]

According to the surveys carried out by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Prometheus measures 14.2 kilometers in diameter, and its surface has an albedo of 0.126.[3] As of 2017, its spectral type, rotation period and shape remain unknown.

The survey designation "P-L" stands for Palomar–Leiden, named after Palomar Observatory and Leiden Observatory, which collaborated on the fruitful Palomar–Leiden survey in the 1960s. Gehrels used Palomar's Samuel Oschin telescope (also known as the 48-inch Schmidt Telescope), and shipped the photographic plates to Ingrid and Cornelis van Houten at Leiden, where astrometry was carried out. The trio are credited with the discovery of several thousand minor planets.[5]

The asteroid is named for Prometheus, a Titan from Greek mythology, who stole the fire from the gods. The name has also been given to a moon of Saturn, Prometheus (moon), discovered by the Voyager 1 spacecraft in 1980.[2] The minor planet 1810 Epimetheus is named after his brother. Naming citation was published before November 1977 (M.P.C. 3934).[6]


  1. ^ a b c d "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 1809 Prometheus (2522 P-L)" (2016-02-15 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  2. ^ a b Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1809) Prometheus. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 145. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  3. ^ 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:1406.6645Freely accessible. Bibcode:2014ApJ...791..121M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/121. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  4. ^ a b "1809 Prometheus (2522 P-L)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  5. ^ "Minor Planet Discoverers". Minor Planet Center. 24 April 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  6. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 15 December 2016. 

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