Science and Exploration

The Discovery And Characterization Of A kilometre Sized Asteroid Inside The Orbit Of Venus

By Keith Cowing
Press Release
September 3, 2022
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The Discovery And Characterization Of A kilometre Sized Asteroid Inside The Orbit Of Venus
Orbital configuration of ‘Ayl贸’chaxnim. (A) A side view of the plane of the Solar system. The orbits and locations of Earth (purple), Venus (blue), Mercury (red) and ‘Ayl贸’chaxnim (yellow) on 2020 January 4 are shown looking from the side. (B) The same as panel (A) but looking from above the orbital plane of the inner Solar System. The perihelion and aphelion directions of ‘Ayl贸’chaxnim and the planets are plotted with dotted and solid lines respectively.The perihelion distance of Venus, 饾憺Venus, and the aphelion distance of ‘Ayl贸’chaxnim, 饾憚0Aylo0chaxnim are indicated with labeled barred lines. The heliocentric cartesian coordinates 饾懃, 饾懄 and 饾懅 are indicated with the position of the Sun as the origin.

Near-Earth asteroid population models predict the existence of bodies located inside the orbit of Venus. Despite searches up to the end of 2019, none had been found. We report discovery and follow-up observations of (594913) ‘Ayl贸’chaxnim, an asteroid with an orbit entirely interior to Venus.

(594913) ‘Ayl贸’chaxnim has an aphelion distance of ~0.65 au, is ~2 km in diameter and is red in colour. The detection of such a large asteroid inside the orbit of Venus is surprising given their rarity according to near-Earth asteroid population models.

As the first officially numbered and named asteroid located entirely within the orbit of Venus, we propose that the class of interior to Venus asteroids be referred to as ‘Ayl贸’chaxnim asteroids.

Bryce T. Bolin, T. Ahumada, P. van Dokkum, C. Fremling, M. Granvik, K. K. Hardegree-Ullman, Y. Harikane, J. N. Purdum, E. Serabyn, J. Southworth, C. Zhai

Comments: 7 pages, 8 figures, 1 table. Published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters (2022). arXiv admin note: text overlap with arXiv:2009.04125
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2208.07253 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:2208.07253v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
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Submission history
From: Bryce Bolin
[v1] Mon, 15 Aug 2022 15:05:28 UTC (5,042 KB)

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