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(2620) Santana

Minor planet number 2620 has been named in honor of Carlos Santana.

The citation announcing the naming appeared on Minor Planet Circular 22245 (issued on 1993 June 4), from which the following is extracted with permission:

(2620) Santana = 1980 TN                                                        
     Discovered 1980 Oct. 3 by Z. Vavrova at Klet.                              
     Named in honor of the contemporary composer and singer Carlos              
Santana, author of magic music.                                                 
Read about how minor planets are named.

About (2620) Santana

(2620) Santana is in a 4.83-year elliptical orbit around the sun ranging in distance from 397.1 million km (at perihelion, closest point to the sun) to 457.9 million km (at aphelion, furthest point from the sun).

The previous perihelion passage occurred on 2009 Oct. 25.9 UT.

The orbit is inclined by 3.1 degrees to the ecliptic plane (the plane of the earth's orbit about the sun).

There is little information on the physical properties of (2620) Santana. Even its diameter is uncertain--a range of 8 to 17 km is probable.

You will need a telescope to see this minor planet as its maximum brightness is some 1/9235 of the brightness of the faintest objects that can be seen with the unaided eye.

The diagram below show the orbit of (2620) Santana in relation to the major planets in the inner solar system.

Orbit diagram

This view of the inner solar system is seen from the north ecliptic pole. The sun is the yellow star at the center of the image. The blue orbits represent, in increasing distance from the center, the major planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter. The position of each major planet at the date indicated at the bottom of the plot is shown by the large circled cross. The orbit of the minor planet is shown in red, with the location of the minor planet (at the date indicated at the bottom of the plot) shown as a white circled cross. From this vantage point the planets revolve around the sun in a counter clockwise direction. The vernal equinox is off to the right. The portion of the minor planet's orbit that is below the plane of the earth's orbit is shaded grey. The perihelion point of the minor planet's orbit is at the end of the white straight line through the sun indicated by "P".

Also available is information on provisional designations.

Where is (2620) Santana tonight? Customisable ephemerides are available.

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