Neha Patil (Editor)

(55638) 2002 VE95

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Discovered by  NEAT
MPC designation  2002 VE95
Observation arc  9246 days (25.31 yr)
Orbits  Sun
Apparent magnitude  20.5
Discovery date  14 November 2002
Minor planet category  Plutino
Discovered  14 November 2002
Discovery site  Palomar Observatory
Minor planet category  Plutino
Aphelion  50.686 AU (7.5825 Tm) (Q)
Discoverer  Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking
Similar  Solar System, Sun, (47171) 1999 TC36, (84922) 2003 VS2, (119951) 2002 KX14

(55638) 2002 VE95, also written as 2002 VE95, is a trans-Neptunian object (TNO) with an absolute magnitude of 5.7. A 2:3 orbital resonance with Neptune makes it a plutino.


Orbit and rotation

As a plutino 2002 VE95 is locked in 2:3 resonance with Neptune. This means that the ratio of their orbital periods is equal to 3/2. It has been observed 190 times over 8 oppositions with precovery images back to 1990.

The rotation period of 2002 VE95 is unknown but it probably lies between 6 and 9 hours.

Physical characteristics

The size of 2002 VE95 is estimated at 7005249800000000000♠249.8+13.5
, based on the Herschel Space Telescope measurements of the thermal radiation coming from it. In the visible light this object is from moderately red to very red in color (different observations produced different results) and has a featureless reflectance spectrum.

The near-infrared spectrum of 2002 VE95 is flat with two distinct absorption bands of water ice at 1.5 and 2.0 μm. There is the third feature near 2.3 μm of unclear origin. The spectral behavior of this object is similar to 5145 Pholus, a centaur. The surface of 2002 VE95 is heterogeneous—the amount of different ices and non-ice components depends on the observed area. Among the probable surface materials are water ice, methanol ice and various titan/triton tholins. The methanol ice is generally associated with redder areas. The surface of 2002 VE95 appears to be primordial in origin.


(55638) 2002 VE95 Wikipedia