(308933) 2006 SQ372

(308933) 2006 SQ372
Discovered by A. C. Becker,
A. W. Puckett,
J. Kubica
Discovery site APO
Discovery date 27 September 2006
MPC designation 2006 SQ372

Scattered disc[2][3]

Centaur (DES)[4]
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 13 January 2016 (JD 2457400.5)
Uncertainty parameter 2
Observation arc 1830 days (5.01 yr)
Aphelion 1570 AU (Q)[5][a]
(Heliocentric 2006 AU)
Perihelion 24.155 AU (3.6135 Tm)
736.67 AU (110.204 Tm)[6][a] (Heliocentric 1015 AU)
Eccentricity 0.96721
22,466 yr[6][a]
(Heliocentric 32,347 yr)
Inclination 19.494°
Earth MOID 23.1835 AU (3.46820 Tm)
Jupiter MOID 19.3845 AU (2.89988 Tm)
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 110 km[7]
60–140 km[8]
Mass ~1.7 × 1018 kg

    (308933) 2006 SQ372 is a small trans-Neptunian object discovered through the Sloan Digital Sky Survey by Andrew Becker, Andrew Puckett, and Jeremy Kubica on images first taken on September 27, 2006 (with precovery images dated to September 13, 2005).[1][9][10]

    It has a strongly eccentric orbit, crossing that of Neptune near perihelion but bringing it more than 1,500 AU from the Sun at aphelion.[4] It takes about 22,500 years to orbit the barycenter of the Solar System.[6] The large semi-major axis makes it similar to (87269) 2000 OO67 and 90377 Sedna.[6] With an absolute magnitude (H) of 8.1,[2] it is estimated to be about 60 to 140 km in diameter.[8] Michael Brown estimates that it has an albedo of 0.08 which would give a diameter of around 110 km.[7]

    The object could possibly be a comet.[6] The discoverers hypothesize that the object could come from the Hills cloud,[6] but other scientists like California Institute of Technology's Michael Brown also consider other possibilities, as "it may have formed from debris just beyond Neptune [in the Kuiper belt] and been 'kicked' into its distant orbit by a planet like Neptune or Uranus".[11]


    More than half of the simulations of (308933) 2006 SQ372 show that it gets too close to either Uranus or Neptune within the next 180 million years, sending it in a currently unknown direction.[12] This makes it difficult to classify this object as only a centaur or a scattered disc object. The Minor Planet Center (MPC), which officially catalogues all trans-Neptunian objects, lists centaurs and SDOs together.[3] (29981) 1999 TD10 is another such object that blurs the two categories.[13]

    Given the extreme orbital eccentricity of this object, different epochs can generate quite different heliocentric unperturbed two-body best-fit solutions to the aphelion distance (maximum distance) of this object.[b] With a 2005 epoch the object had an approximate period of about 22,000 years with aphelion at 1557 AU.[4] But using a 2011 epoch shows a period of about 32,000 years with aphelion at 2006 AU.[2] For objects at such high eccentricity, the Sun's barycentric coordinates are more stable than heliocentric coordinates.[6] Using JPL Horizons with an observed orbital arc of only 2.9 years, the barycentric orbital elements for epoch 2008-May-14 generate a semi-major axis of 796 AU and a period of 22,466 years.[6]


    Sedna compared to some other very distant orbiting bodies. Including 90377 Sedna, 2015 DB216 (orbit wrong), 2000 OO67, 2004 VN112, 2005 VX3, 2006 SQ372, 2007 TG422, 2007 DA61, 2009 MS9, 2010 GB174, 2010 NV1, 2010 BK118, 2012 DR30, 2012 VP113, 2013 BL76, 2013 AZ60, 2013 RF98, 2015 ER61

    See also


    1. ^ Solution using the Solar System Barycenter
    2. ^ Read osculating orbit for more details about heliocentric unperturbed two-body solutions


    1. 1 2 "MPEC 2007-A27 : 2006 SQ372". IAU Minor Planet Center. 2007-01-08. Retrieved 2011-05-26.
    2. 1 2 3 4 5 "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: (2006 SQ372)" (last observation: 2010-09-17; arc: 5.01 years). Retrieved 24 March 2016.
    3. 1 2 "List Of Centaurs and Scattered-Disk Objects". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
    4. 1 2 3 Marc W. Buie. "Orbit Fit and Astrometric record for 308933" (2010-09-17 using 64 of 65 observations over 5.01 years). SwRI (Space Science Department). Retrieved 2008-09-05.
    5. Horizons output (2011-01-23). "Barycentric Osculating Orbital Elements for 2006 SQ372". Retrieved 2011-01-24. (Horizons)
    6. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Kaib, Nathan A.; Becker, Andrew C.; Jones, R. Lynne; Puckett, Andrew W.; Bizyaev, Dmitry; Dilday, Benjamin; et al. (2009). "2006 SQ372: A Likely Long-Period Comet from the Inner Oort Cloud". arXiv:0901.1690Freely accessible. Bibcode:2009ApJ...695..268K. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/695/1/268.
    7. 1 2 Michael E. Brown. "How many dwarf planets are there in the outer solar system? (updates daily)". California Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
    8. 1 2 "Absolute Magnitude (H)". NASA/JPL. Archived from the original on 1 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
    9. An Icy Wanderer from the Oort Cloud
    10. "First object seen from solar system's inner Oort cloud". New Scientist. 18 August 2008. Archived from the original on 28 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
    11. "New "Minor Planet" Found in Solar System". National Geographic News. 19 August 2008. Archived from the original on 21 August 2008. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
    12. Dr Chris Lintott (25 August 2008). "Sky survey yields new cosmic haul". BBC. Archived from the original on 6 September 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-06.
    13. Kenneth Silber (1999-11-11). "New Object in Solar System Defies Categories". Space.com. Archived from the original on 2005-09-21. Retrieved 2008-09-07.

    External links

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