624 Hektor

624 Hektor
Discovery A
Discoverer August Kopff
Discovery date February 10, 1907
1907 XM; 1948 VD B
Category Trojan asteroid
Orbital elements C D
Epoch October 22, 2004 (JD 2453300.5)
Eccentricity (e) 0.024
Semi-major axis (a) 781.183 Gm (5.222 AU)
Perihelion (q) 762.145 Gm (5.095 AU)
Aphelion (Q) 800.220 Gm (5.349 AU)
Orbital period (P) 4358.521 d (11.93 a)
Mean orbital speed 13.03 km/s
Inclination (i) 18.198°
Longitude of the
ascending node (Ω))
Argument of
perihelion (ω)
Mean anomaly (M) 94.752°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 370 — 195 km
Mass ~1.4—1019 kg
Density 2 ? g/cm³
Surface gravity ~0.067 m/s²
Escape velocity ~0.13 km/s
Rotation period 0.2884 d 1
Spectral class D
Absolute magnitude 7.49
Albedo 0.087 2
Mean surface
~122 K

624 Hektor is the largest of the Jovian Trojan asteroids. It was discovered in 1907 by August Kopff.

Hektor is thought to be one of the most elongated bodies in the solar system, being 370 × 195 km. It had been thought that Hektor may be a contact binary (two asteroids that have become fused by gravitational attraction) like 216 Kleopatra, or else two two separate bodies orbiting very close together. However, Hektor was observed by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1993, and it does not have the bilobated appearance of a contact binary.[1]

Hektor is a D-type asteroid, dark and reddish in colour.

Hektor lies in Jupiter's leading Lagrangian point, L4, called the 'Greek' node after one of the two sides in the legendary Trojan War. Ironically, Hektor is named after the Trojan hero Hektor, and is thus one of two Trojan asteroids that is "misplaced" in the wrong camp (the other being 617 Patroclus in the Trojan node).

Hektor in fiction

Stephen Baxter's short story 'The Fubar Suit' (1997) depicts an astronaut exploring Hektor. 'Sample from 'The Baxterium' website.

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The minor planets

Vulcanoids | Main belt | Groups and families | Near-Earth objects | Jupiter Trojans

Centaurs | Damocloids | Comets | Trans-Neptunians (Kuiper belt | Scattered disc | Oort cloud)

For other objects and regions, see: Binary asteroids, Asteroid moons and the Solar system

For a complete listing, see: List of asteroids. For pronunciation, see: Pronunciation of asteroid names.

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