Discovery of the First Known Asteroid Confined within the Orbit of Venus

Wing Huen Ip, Frank J. Masci, Quanzhi Ye, Emily A. Kramer, George Helou, Thomas A. Prince, S. R. Kulkarni, Richard Dekany, Andrew Drake, Matthew J. Graham, Steven Groom, Russ R. Laher, Ashish A. Mahabal, Ben Rusholme

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Abstract

We report on the discovery by the Zwicky Transient Facility of an asteroid orbiting entirely within the orbit of Venus, the first known example of this orbital class. The asteroid's perihelion is closer to the Sun than the aphelion of Mercury, and its diameter is estimated at about 1.8 km assuming an albedo of 0.2. The object was first observed on 2020 January 4 in four exposures obtained 7 minutes apart during an evening twilight survey. Its IAU-recognized designation is 594913 ‘Ayló’chaxnim.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL6
JournalAstrophysical Journal Letters
Volume935
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2022

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