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Alinda family

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The Alinda asteroids are a group of asteroids with a semi-major axis of about 2.5 AU and an orbital eccentricity approximately between 0.4 and 0.65. The namesake is 887 Alinda, discovered by Max Wolf in 1918.

These objects are held in this region by the 1:3 orbital resonance with Jupiter, which results in their being close to a 4:1 resonance with Earth. An object in this resonance has its orbital eccentricity steadily increased by gravitational interactions with Jupiter until it eventually has a close encounter with an inner planet that breaks the resonance.

Some Alindas have perihelia very close to Earth's orbit, resulting in a series of close encounters at almost exactly four-year intervals, due to the 4:1 near resonance.

One consequence of this is that if an Alinda asteroid happens to be in an unfavorable position for viewing at the time of its close approach to Earth (for instance, at a small elongation from the Sun), then this situation can persist for decades. Indeed, as of 2010, the Alinda asteroid 1915 Quetzálcoatl had been observed only once since 1985.

Another consequence is that some of these asteroids make repeated relatively close approaches to Earth, making them good subjects for study by Earth-based radar. Examples are 4179 Toutatis and 6489 Golevka.

References

Alinda family Wikipedia


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