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5335 Damocles

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Discovered by  R. H. McNaught
Alternative names  1991 DA
Orbits  Sun
Discoverer  Robert H. McNaught
Discovery date  18 February 1991
Discovered  18 February 1991
Spectral type  S-type asteroid
Discovery site  Siding Spring Observatory
5335 Damocles httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Pronunciation  DAM-ə-kleez (/ˈdæməkliːz/)
Minor planet category  distant  · centaur  · damocloid
Adjectives  Damoclean (/dæməˈkliːən/)
Named after  Damocles (Greek mythology)
Similar  Solar System, Sun, 8405 Asbolus, 10370 Hylonome, 944 Hidalgo

5335 Damocles (DAM-ə-kleez) provisional designation 1991 DA, is a centauer and the namesake of the damocloids, a group of minor planets which are inactive nuclei of the Halley-type and long-period comets. It was discovered on 18 February 1991, by Australian astronomer Robert McNaught at Siding Spring Observatory in Australia. It is named after Damocles, a figure of Greek mythology.


When Damocles was discovered, it was found to be on an orbit completely different from all others known. Damocles's orbit reached from inside the aphelion of Mars to as far as Uranus. It seemed to be in transition from a near-circular outer Solar System orbit to an eccentric orbit taking it to the inner Solar System. Duncan Steel, Gerhard Hahn, Mark Bailey, and David Asher carried out projections of its long-term dynamical evolution, and found a good probability that it will become an Earth-crosser asteroid, and may spend a quarter of its life in such an orbit. Damocles has a stable orbit for tens of thousands of years before and after the present, because its highly inclined orbit does not take it near Jupiter or Saturn.

There is some speculation that 5335 Damocles may have a meteor shower associated with it on Mars from the direction of Draco. The object has a Mars minimum orbit intersection distance (Mars–MOID) of 0.057 AU (8,500,000 km; 5,300,000 mi) and a Uranus–MOID of 0.3 AU (45,000,000 km; 28,000,000 mi).

As of 2014, Damocles is 21.8 AU from the Sun with an apparent magnitude of 26.9.

The adjectival form is Damoclean, /dæməˈkliːən/. Naming citation was published on 1 September 1993 (M.P.C. 22508).


5335 Damocles Wikipedia

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