|Discovery date February 27, 2015|
Observation arc 4573 days (12.52 yr)
Mean anomaly 307.3°
Discoverer Mount Lemmon Survey
|MPC designation 2015 DB216|
Discovered 27 February 2015
Argument of perihelion 237.75°
Asteroid group Centaur
|Discovered by Mount Lemmon Survey (G96)|
Minor planet category Centaur Uranus Co-orbital
Aphelion 25.4816 AU (3.81199 Tm)
Similar 2012 DR30, 2007 TG422, 2012 VP113, Jupiter trojan, Sungrazing comet
(472651) 2015 DB216 is a centaur and Uranus co-orbital discovered on February 27, 2015, by the Mount Lemmon Survey. It is the second known centaur on a horseshoe orbit with Uranus, and the third Uranus co-orbital discovered after 2011 QF99 (a Trojan) and 83982 Crantor (a horseshoe librator). A second Uranian Trojan, 2014 YX49, was announced in 2017.
An early orbital calculation of the asteroid with an observation arc of 10 days suggested an extremely close MOID to Neptune, but further observations on March 27 refined the orbit to show that the asteroid passes no less than several astronomical units away from Neptune, and show the orbit instead being that of a typical centaur, with a perihelion near that of Saturn, and traveling near to Uranus and Neptune. Later, observations suggested a distant orbit traveling extremely distant from the Sun, but now this too has been shown to be incorrect with later observations. However, it does have a semimajor axis near that of Uranus, making it a Uranus co-orbital. However it is not a Trojan, as it stays near the opposite side of the Sun from Uranus.
A paper, submitted on July 27, 2015, analyzed 2015 DB216's orbital evolution, and suggested that it may be more stable than the other known Uranus co-orbitals due to its high inclination, and that many more undiscovered Uranus co-orbitals may exist.
Precovery images from 2003 were located soon after 2015 DB216's discovery, giving it an 11-year observation arc.