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65489 Ceto

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Covid-19
Discovery date  22 March 2003
Alternative names  2003 FX128
Adjectives  Cetoean
Orbits  Sun
Discovery site  Palomar Observatory
MPC designation  65489
Minor planet category  TNO Centaur–extended
Discovered  22 March 2003
Named after  Ceto
Asteroid group  Centaur
65489 Ceto httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediacommonsthu
Discovered by  C. A. Trujillo and M. Brown
Discoverers  Michael E. Brown, Chad Trujillo
Similar  Michael E Brown discoveries, Other celestial objects

65489 Ceto /ˈst/ is a binary trans-Neptunian object (TNO) discovered on March 22, 2003 by C. A. Trujillo and M. Brown at Palomar. It is named after the sea goddess Ceto from Greek mythology. The object was identified as a binary on April 11, 2006 by K. Noll, H. Levison, W. Grundy and D. Stephens using the Hubble Space Telescope; the companion object is named Phorcys (/ˈfɔərss/, formally (65849) Ceto I Phorcys), after the Greek sea god. Using an extended definition of a centaur as an object on a non-resonant (unstable) orbit with its perihelion inside the orbit of Neptune, the Ceto system can be considered the second known binary centaur. It came to perihelion in 1989.

Physical characteristics

65489 Ceto is an example of a close binary TNO system in which the components are of similar size. Combined observations with the infrared Spitzer Space Telescope and the Hubble Telescope allow the diameter of Ceto itself to be estimated at 7005174000000000000♠174+16
−18
 km
and the diameter of Phorcys at 7005132000000000000♠132+6
−14
 km
, assuming equal albedo for both components.

The binary nature of Ceto enables direct calculation of the system mass, allowing estimation of the masses of the components and providing additional constraints on their composition. The estimated density of Ceto is 7003137000000000000♠1.37+0.66
−0.32
 g/cm3
, significantly less than that of the large TNOs (Haumea: 3.0 g/cm3, Eris: 2.26, Pluto: 2.03, Charon: 1.65) but significantly more than that of smaller TNOs (e.g. 0.7 g/cm3 for (26308) 1998 SM165). Phorcys has a mass of about 1.67×1018 kg. Unless the bodies are porous, the density is consistent with rock–ice composition, with rock content around 50%.

It has been suggested that tidal forces, together with other potential heat sources (e.g. collisions or 26Al decay) might have raised the temperature sufficiently to crystallise amorphous ice and reduce the void space inside the object. The same tidal forces could be responsible for the quasi-circular orbits of the components of Ceto.

Ceto is listed on Michael Brown's website as possibly a dwarf planet.

References

65489 Ceto Wikipedia


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