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4769 Castalia

4769 Castalia
Arecibo radar image showing Castalia as a contact binary.
Discovered by E. F. Helin
Palomar Observatory (675)
Discovery date August 9, 1989
MPC designation 4769 Castalia (1989 PB)
Named after
Minor planet category Apollo NEO,
Venus-crosser asteroid,
Mars-crosser asteroid
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 14 march 2012
Aphelion 1.5769 AU (Q)
Perihelion 0.54945 AU (q)
1.0631 AU (a)
Eccentricity 0..48319
1.10 yr
148.73° (M)
Inclination 8.8882°
Known satellites contact binary
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 1.4 km[1]
1.8×0.8 km
Mass 5.0×1011 kg (?)
Mean density
2.1 g/cm³ (?)
Sidereal rotation period
4.095 h[1]
Temperature 216–366 K
Spectral type
S (?)

The asteroid 4769 Castalia ( ; previously known by the provisional designation 1989 PB) was the first asteroid to be modeled by radar imaging. It is an Apollo, Mars- and Venus-crosser asteroid. It was discovered on August 9, 1989, by Eleanor F. Helin (Caltech) on photographic plates taken at Palomar Observatory. It is named after Castalia, a nymph in Greek mythology.


  • General information 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4

General information

On 25 August 1989 Castalia passed 0.0269378 AU (4,029,840 km; 2,504,020 mi)[2] (within eleven lunar distances) of Earth, allowing it to be observed with radar from the Arecibo Observatory by Scott Hudson (Washington State University) and Steven J. Ostro (JPL). The data allowed Hudson et al. to produce a three-dimensional model of the object. During the 1989 passage Castalia peaked at an apparent magnitude of 12.[3]

Castalia has a peanut shape, suggesting two approximately 800-meter-diameter pieces held together by their weak mutual gravity. Since then radar observations of other asteroids have found other contact binaries.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 4769 Castalia (1989 PB)". Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  2. ^ "JPL Close-Approach Data: 4769 Castalia (1989 PB)". Retrieved 2012-06-17. 
  3. ^ "(4769) Castalia Ephemerides for August 1989". NEODyS (Near Earth Objects - Dynamic Site). Retrieved 2012-06-20. 
  4. ^ Dr. Lance A. M. Benner (2013-11-18). "Binary and Ternary near-Earth Asteroids detected by radar". NASA/JPL Asteroid Radar Research. Retrieved 2014-03-01. 

External links

  • Discovery · Orbit diagram · Orbital elements · Physical parameters
  • Mike Nolan (1996-05-15). "Radar image of 4769 Castalia". Arecibo Observatory. Retrieved 2012-06-19. 
  • NASA Asteroid Radar Search – The 228 Radar-Detected Asteroids: Asteroid 4769 Castalia
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