342843 Davidbowie

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342843 Davidbowie
Discovery [1]
Discovered byF. Hormuth
Discovery siteCalar Alto Obs.
Discovery date21 December 2008
(342843) Davidbowie
Named after
David Bowie
(British singer-songwriter)[2]
2008 YN3 · 2003 SG99
main-belt[2] · (middle)
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 4 September 2017 (JD 2458000.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc12.87 yr (4,702 days)
Aphelion2.9935 AU
Perihelion2.5040 AU
2.7487 AU
4.56 yr (1,665 days)
0° 12m 58.68s / day
Physical characteristics
Dimensions1.4 km (est. at 0.13)[4]
0.13 (parent albedo)

342843 Davidbowie, provisional designation 2008 YN3, is a Henan asteroid from the central region of the asteroid belt, approximately 1.4 kilometers in diameter.

The asteroid was discovered on 21 December 2008, by German astronomer Felix Hormuth from Max-Planck-Institute for Astronomy at Calar Alto Observatory in Almería, southeastern Spain. It was named for British singer-songwriter David Bowie.[2][5]

Orbit and classification[edit]

Davidbowie is a member of the Henan family (532),[3] a large family of L-type asteroids in the intermediate main-belt, named after 2085 Henan.[6]:23 It orbits the Sun in the central asteroid belt at a distance of 2.5–3.0 AU once every 4 years and 7 months (1,665 days; semi-major axis of 2.75 AU). The asteroid has a well-observed orbit with the lowest possible condition code. Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.09 and an inclination of 3° with respect to the ecliptic.[1]

It was first identified as 2003 SG99 at the Steward Observatory (Kitt Peak) in September 2003, extending the asteroid's observation arc by almost 5 years prior to its official discovery observation at Calar Alto.[2]

Notably, the asteroid had a close encounter with the 200 kilometer-sized asteroid 16 Psyche, one of the most massive bodies in the main-belt, which it passed at only 0.04 AU (6,000,000 km) on 15 May 1935.[1]

Physical characteristics[edit]

Based on its absolute magnitude of 17.1, Davidbowie's diameter can be estimated to measure approximately 1.4 kilometers, using an albedo of 0.13, derived from the family's parent body, 2085 Henan.[4]

As of 2017, Davidbowie's effective size and shape, as well as its poles, albedo and rotation period remain unknown.[1][7]


In 2015, this minor planet was named after British singer, songwriter, producer and actor, David Bowie (1947–2016), just 3 days before Bowie's 68th birthday. Considered to be one of the most influential artists, Bowie released more than 25 albums including The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. He was also an actor in movies such as Labyrinth and The Prestige.[2][8] The approved naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Centre on 5 January 2015 (M.P.C. 91793),[9]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 342843 Davidbowie (2008 YN3)" (2016-08-03 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d e "342843 Davidbowie (2008 YN3)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Asteroid 342843 Davidbowie – Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0". Small Bodies Data Ferret. Retrieved 27 October 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Absolute Magnitude (H)". NASA/JPL. Retrieved 4 July 2016.
  5. ^ "It's no 'Space Oddity': Mile-Wide David Bowie Asteroid to Forever Float in Outer Space". denver.cbslocal.com. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  6. ^ Nesvorný, D.; Broz, M.; Carruba, V. (December 2014). Identification and Dynamical Properties of Asteroid Families. Asteroids IV. pp. 297–321. arXiv:1502.01628. Bibcode:2015aste.book..297N. doi:10.2458/azu_uapress_9780816532131-ch016. ISBN 9780816532131.
  7. ^ "LCDB Data for (342843) Davidbowie". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  8. ^ "This is the Space Rock Tribute to the Late, Great David Bowie". gizmodo.com. Retrieved 12 January 2016.
  9. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 4 July 2016.

External links[edit]