- List of asteroids
This is a list of numbered
minor planets in sequential order.
As of|2008|9|url=http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/lists/NumberedMPs.html there are 192,280 numbered minor planets, and many more not yet numbered. Five minor planets have also been classified as
dwarf planets. Most asteroids are ordinary and not particularly noteworthy; fewer than 15,000 of them have been named (the first nameless asteroid having number 3708). For a smaller list of notable asteroids, see list of notable asteroids, and for notable TNOs, see trans-Neptunian objectand list of plutoid candidatess.
List of minor planets
The list is much too long to fit on one page, so see these subpages:
Numbering and naming conventions
After discovery, asteroids generally receive a
provisional designation(such as "1989 AC"), then a number (such as 4179), and finally (optionally) a name (such as "Toutatis"), in that order.
In modern times, an asteroid receives a sequential number only after its orbit is precisely known. Asteroids whose orbits are not (yet) precisely known are known by their provisional designation. This rule was not necessarily followed in earlier times, and some asteroids received a number but were subsequently "lost". All of these have now been recovered; the last "lost" numbered asteroid was
For the reasons mentioned above, the sequence of numbers only approximately matches the timeline of discovery. In extreme cases, such as "lost" asteroids, there may be a considerable mismatch: for instance the high-numbered
69230 Hermeswas originally discovered in 1937, but was lost until 2003. Only after it was recovered could its orbit be established and a number assigned. Before this, it was simply known as 1937 UB (its provisional designation).
Only after a number is assigned is the asteroid eligible to receive a name. (For many years, Hermes was a rare exception, an unnumbered asteroid with a name.) Usually the discoverer has up to 10 years to pick a name; some asteroids remain unnamed. Especially towards the end of the 20th century, with large-scale automated asteroid discovery programs such as LINEAR, the pace of discoveries has increased so much that it seems likely that the vast majority of "run of the mill" discoveries from now on will never receive names.
In rare cases, a very unusual object may receive an unofficial name before it is numbered. A recent example is
90377 Sedna, which officially had only the systematic name "mp|2003 VB|12" before it was numbered (90377) and, shortly thereafter, named in September, 2004.
*"Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, 5th ed.: Prepared on Behalf of Commission 20 Under the Auspices of the International Astronomical Union",
Lutz D. Schmadel, ISBN 3-540-00238-3
*"The Names of the Minor Planets",
Paul Herget, 1968
Asteroid moon(includes list)
List of asteroids named after people
List of asteroids named after places
List of comets
List of Solar System bodies formerly regarded as planets
List of trans-Neptunian objects
Meanings of asteroid names
Minor planet(for links to articles on particular groups and families, some of which have lists)
Minor Planet Center
Pronunciation of asteroid names
* [http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/lists/ArchiveStatistics.html MPC Archive Statistics] (observations, orbits and names)
* [http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/lists/NumberedMPs.html MPC Discovery Circumstances] (minor planets by number)
* [http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/iau/lists/MPLists.html Lists and plots: Minor Planets]
* [http://neo.jpl.nasa.gov/ NASA Near Earth Object Program]
* [http://www.psi.edu/pds/ PDS Asteroid Data Archive]
* [http://pdssbn.astro.umd.edu/sbnhtml/index.html SBN Small Bodies Data Archive]
* [http://discovermagazine.com/2000/feb/featstar/?searchterm=%22alan%20burdick%22 Discover Magazine February 2000: Name that star!]
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