| S. B. Nicholson|
23 June 1957
| 23 June 1957|
Seth Barnes Nicholson
| mɛnəˈleɪəs (men-ə-lay-əs)|
Menelaus (Greek mythology)
Lysithea, Carme, Sinope, Ananke
1647 Menelaus (MEN-ə-LAY-əs), provisional designation 1957 MK, is a carbonaceous Jupiter trojan from the Greek camp, approximately 42 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 23 June 1957, by American astronomer Seth Nicholson at Mount Wilson Observatory in California, United States. It is named after Menelaus from Greek mythology.
1647 Menelaus Wikipedia
Menelaus is a C-type asteroid, that orbits in the leading Greek camp at Jupiter's L4 Lagrangian point, 60° ahead of its orbit (see Trojans in astronomy). It orbits the Sun at a distance of 5.1–5.3 AU once every 11 years and 11 months (4,349 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.02 and an inclination of 6° with respect to the ecliptic. Menelaus was first imaged at Palomar Observatory in 1951. This precovery extends the body's observation arc by 6 years prior to its official discovery observation.
The Palomar Transient Factory in California obtained a rotational light-curve of Menelaus from photometric observation taken in October 2010. It gave a rotation period of 17.7390 hours with a brightness variation of 0.32 magnitude in the R-band (U=2). In February 2014, a concurring period of 17.74 hours with an amplitude of 0.15 magnitude was obtained by American astronomer Robert D. Stephens at the Center for Solar System Studies (U=3-).
According to the survey carried out by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Menelaus measures 42.72 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.056. The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for carbonaceous asteroids of 0.057 and calculates a diameter of 42.23 kilometers using an absolute magnitude of 10.6.
This minor planet was named after the Greek mythological figure, Menelaus, husband of Helen of Troy, brother of Agamemnon, and king and leader of the Spartan contingent of the Greek army during the Trojan War. The discoverer followed the convention to name bodies located in the camp to the east of Jupiter after famous Greek heroes. The Dictionary of Minor Planet Names also mentions that the lunar crater Menelaus was named after the Greek hero. However, based on the official International Astronomical Union–WGPSN nomenclature, it is named after Greek geometer and astronomer Menelaus of Alexandria (70–140). Naming citation was published before November 1977 (M.P.C. 2019).