The Minor Planet Bulletin BULLETIN OF THE MINOR PLANETS SECTION OF THE ASSOCIATION OF LUNAR AND PLANETARY OBSERVERS
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The Minor Planet Bulletin is the journal for almost all amateurs and even some professionals for publishing
asteroid photometry results, including lightcurves, H-G parameters, color indexes, and shape/spin axis models.
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Authors Guide and Word Templates
(v.2.9: updated 2019 November 14)
The ZIP file contains the Authors Guide PDF as well as a "starter" paper in Word 97 (DOT) and Word 2007+ (DOTX). Please read this updated guide since there are a number of changes from previous guides.
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Use semicolons to separate names in the references section. For example:
Smith, J.J.; Jones, A.A. (2019).
This also applies if using several references to the same author in the text. For example:
"This asteroid was observed at three previous apparitions (Jones, 2015; 2017; 2018)..."
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Lightcurves for Two Near-Earth Asteroids by Asteroids Observers (OBAS) - MPPD: 2016 April-May
Pages 283-284 Martinez, Vicente Mas; Silva, Gonzalo Fornas; Martinez, Angel Flores; Garceran, Alfonso Carreno; Mansego, Enrique Arce; Rodriguez, Pedro Brines; de Haro, Juan Lozano; Silva, Alvaro Fornas; Chiner, Onofre Rodrigo; Porta, David Herrero 2016MPBu...43..283MDownload PDF
We report on the results of photometric analysis of two near-Earth asteroids (NEA) by Asteroids Observers (OBAS). This work is part of the Minor Planet Photometric Database (MPPD) project initiated by a group of Spanish amateur astronomers. We have managed to obtain a number of accurate and complete lightcurves as well as some additional incomplete lightcurves to help analysis at future oppositions.
The Rotation Period of Asteroids 4931 Tomsk and 4232 Jordaens
CCD observations of two main-belt asteroids were made in 2016 March and May. Analysis of the data for 4931 Tomsk indicates a synodic period of P = 7.02 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.46 ± 0.10 mag. For 5232 Jordaens, the analysis indicates a synodic period of P = 10.58 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.73 ± 0.15 mag.
Lightcurve Analysis of NEA (331471) 1984 QY1: A Tumbling Asteroid
Analysis of CCD photometric observations of the near- Earth asteroid (331471) 1984 QY1 show that it is likely in non-principal axis rotation (NPAR), or tumbling. A single period analysis found a dominant period of 45.5 ± 0.5 h, but the true periods of rotation and precession could not be determined.
Lightcurve Analysis of Asteroids Observed at the Oakley Southern Sky Observatory: 2015 December - 2016 April
This paper presents the results of photometric observations with standard broad-band Bessel filters B, V, and R on near-Earth asteroid (214088) 2004 JN13. The analysis shows that the B-V and V-R color indices are fairly constant on the asteroid surface with mean values B-V = 0.83 ± 0.02 mag and V-R = 0.48 ± 0.03 mag, indicative of a relatively homogeneous surface color distribution. For a typical albedo, assuming these colors indicate an S-type asteroid, a mean diameter of 2.4 ± 0.5 km is inferred.
Three Asteroids with Changing Lightcurves: 124 Alkeste, 465 Alekto, and 569 Misa
Synodic rotation periods and amplitudes are found for 124 Alkeste: P = 9.906 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.18-0.29 mag; 465 Alekto: P = 10.936 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.14-0.16 mag; and 569 Misa: P = 11.595 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.09 ± 0.01 mag. Changes in the shapes of the lightcurves in an interval of 40 to 60 days are documented. For 124 Alkeste, V-R = 0.49 and H = 8.155 ± 0.018, G = 0.137 ± 0.019.
Lightcurves for nine main-belt asteroids were obtained at the Center for Solar System Studies-Palmer Divide Station (CS3-PDS) from 2016 April to July. Of the group, four are known Hungaria binary asteroids: 1727 Mette, 2047 Smetana, 5899 Jedicke, and (18890) 2000 EV26. The Mars-crosser (54697) 2001 FA70 appears to be a newly-confirmed binary with P1 = 2.7075 h and POrb = 16.269 h. A third period, P2 = 2.1239 h, appears to be real. If so, it could be due to the asynchronous rotation of the satellite or a third body in the system.
Rotation Determinations for 50 Virginia, 58 Concordia, 307 Nike, and 339 Dorothea
The very wide binary asteroids (VWBA) are a subgroup of binary asteroids that exhibit very long primary periods and, mostly, short secondary periods that are similar to those of the primary of “normal” small binary asteroids. It is unlikely that confirming mutual events will be seen by photometric observations, mostly because the orbital periods of the assumed satellites will be on the order of days. This paper introduces three additional candidates for this subgroup: (215442) 2002 MQ3, 2009 EC, and 2016 BU13. All three are considered to be among the more convincing examples that such systems exist.
Lightcurve Analysis for Asteroids 895 Helio and 1108 Demeter
Photometric observations of asteroids 895 Helio and 1108 Demeter were conducted on six nights in 2016 June from Tempe, AZ. Synodic rotation periods are 9.391 ± 0.008 h for 895 Helio and 9.846 ± 0.008 h for 1108 Demeter.
Near-Earth Asteroid Lightcurve Analysis at CS3-Palmer Divide Station: 2016 April-July
Lightcurves for 31 near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), obtained at the Center for Solar System Studies-Palmer Divide Station (CS3-PDS) from 2016 April-July, were analyzed for rotation period and signs of satellites or tumbling.
Rotation Period Determination of Four Main-belt Asteroids
Observations of four main-belt asteroids (MBA) revealed the following rotation periods and lightcurve amplitudes: 3861 Lorenz, P = 11.91 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.28 mag; 6173 Jimwestphal P = 2.908 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.41 mag; 10259 Osipovyurij, P = 6.356 ± 0.001 h, A = 0.30 mag; 29470 Higgs, P = 36.31 ± 0.01 h, A = 0.48 mag.
We present nine nights of photometric observations of the main-belt asteroid 4962 Vecherka. Its amplitude during our observations was not less than 1.08 ± 0.02 mag. We estimated its synodic rotation period at 14 ± 2 d (336 ± 48 h), meaning that 4962 Vecherka is probably among a rare class of slowly rotating, highamplitude asteroids. A much longer observational campaign is required to calculate the period of rotation with a satisfactory accuracy.
Lightcurves of Jovian Trojan Asteroids from the Center for Solar System Studies: L4 Greek Camp and Spies
Jovian Trojan asteroids larger than ~ 30 km were studied from the Center for Solar System Studies (CS3, MPC U81). Lightcurves for 30 Trojan asteroids in the L4 (Greek) cloud were between May and June 2016. These were mostly from the L4 “Greek” cloud, but several were L5 “Trojan” cloud lightcurves not previously published.
Eighteen Asteroids Lightcurves at Asteroides Observers (OBAS) - MPPD: 2016 March-May
Pages 332-336 Mansego, Enrique Arce; Rodriguez, Pedro Brines; de Haro, Juan Lozano; Chiner, Onofre Rodrigo; Silva, Alvaro Fornas; Porta, David Herrero; Martinez, Vicente Mas; Silva, Gonzalo Fornas; Garceran, Alfonso Carreno 2016MPBu...43..332MDownload PDF
We report on the analysis of photometric observations of 18 main-belt asteroids (MBA) done by Asteroides Observers (OBAS). This work is part of the Minor Planet Photometric Database program initiated by a group of Spanish amateur astronomers. We have managed to obtain a number of accurate and complete lightcurves as well as some additional incomplete lightcurves to help analysis at future oppositions.
Analysis of CCD photometric observations of near-Earth asteroid (154244) 2002 KL6 indicate that it may be a binary system. The presumed primary has a synodic rotation period of 4.60869 ± 0.00005 h and lightcurve amplitude of 0.65 ± 0.03 mag. The presumed satellite has an orbital period of 24.05 ± 0.02 h and maximum lightcurve amplitude of 0.07 mag. The secondary lightcurve showed no mutual events and seems to indicate that the satellite’s rotation is tidally locked to its orbital period.
The asteroid 2656 Evenkia was observed between 2016 March 20 and April 30. A synodic period of rotation of P = 7.0870 ± 0.0002 h and amplitude of A = 0.68 mag was found.
The Binary Nature of the Asteroid 2242 Balaton
Pages 346-348 Marchini, Alessandro; Bacci, Paolo; Carbognani, Albino; Franco, Lorenzo; Klinglesmith, Daniel A. III; Papini, Riccardo; Pravec, Petr; Pray, Donald P.; Salvaggio, F. 2016MPBu...43..346MDownload PDF
Initial observations of 2242 Balaton indicated a rotation period of about 2.8 hours with some attenuation events. Further observations and analysis showed that 2242 is a binary asteroid with a primary period of 2.7979 ± 0.0001 h and amplitude of 0.18 mag; the orbital period of the secondary is 12.96 ± 0.01 h. Mutual events that are 0.03 to 0.08 magnitude deep indicate a lower limit on the secondary-to-primary mean-diameter ratio of 0.25. From sparse photometric data we also derived H = 13.31 ± 0.05, G = 0.22 ± 0.04.
Lightcurve and Rotation Period Determination for 5318 Dientzenhofer and 9083 Ramboehm
Photometric observations of the main-belt asteroids 5318 Dientzenhofer and 9083 Ramboehm were made in 2016 March and 2015 December, respectively. Analysis of the data found a bimodal lightcurve with a synodic rotation period of 8.062 ± 0.002 h for 5318 Dientzenhofer. A trimodal lightcurve with synodic period of 10.199 ± 0.004 h for 9083 Ramboehm was found to be the most likely solution.
Parameters of Rotation and Shapes of Main-belt Asteroids from APT Observatory Group: Second Quarter 2016
Using observations made during the second quarter of 2016, the rotation periods and the semi-axis a/b ratio of the projected shape for six main-belt asteroids were determined: 238 Hypatia, 1603 Neva, 1859 Kovalevskaya, 4170 Semmelweis, 3002 Delasalle, and (31013) 1996 DR.
Lightcurve and Rotation Period of Main-belt Asteroid 10259 Osiporvyurij
Asteroid campaigns to be conducted by the Target Asteroids! program during the October-December 2016 quarter are described. In addition to asteroids on the original Target Asteroids! list of easily accessible spacecraft targets, an effort has been made to identify other asteroids that are 1) brighter and easier to observe for small telescope users and 2) analogous to (101955) Bennu and (162173) Ryugu, targets of the OSIRIS-REx and Hayabusa-2 sample return missions.
We present lists of asteroid photometry opportunities for objects reaching a favorable apparition and having either none or poorly-defined lightcurve parameters. Additional data on these objects will help with shape and spin axis modeling via lightcurve inversion. We also include lists of objects that will be the target of radar observations. Lightcurves for these objects can help constrain pole solutions and/or remove rotation period ambiguities that might not come from using radar data alone.