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(4442) Garcia

Minor planet number 4442 has been named in honor of Jerry Garcia, frontman of the Grateful Dead.

The citation announcing the naming appeared on Minor Planet Circular 25976 (issued on 1995 Nov. 7), from which the following is extracted with permission:

(4442) Garcia = 1985 RB1                                                        
     Discovered 1985 Sept. 14 by Spacewatch at Kitt Peak.                       
     Named in memory of Jerry Garcia (1942-1995), lead guitarist for the        
“Grateful Dead”.  He was also a superb banjo player and steel pedal guitar      
player.  His recorded works embrace many styles, among them                     
rock-and-roll, bluegrass and country, and experimental electronic music.        
Garcia and the Grateful Dead have also sought to preserve endangered and        
underappreciated music.  Garcia was best known for his consummate               
musicianship and for live performance and improvisations.  Those                
embracing Garcia's music have now spanned several generations, attesting to     
the quality and timelessness of his music.  Name proposed by T. Gehrels,        
following a suggestion by S. Radford.  Citation prepared by E. Olszewski and    
S. Radford.                                                                     
Read about how minor planets are named.

About (4442) Garcia

(4442) Garcia is in a 5.19-year elliptical orbit around the sun ranging in distance from 337.6 million km (at perihelion, closest point to the sun) to 559.4 million km (at aphelion, furthest point from the sun).

The previous perihelion passage occurred on 2009 Feb. 23.9 UT.

The orbit is inclined by 15.1 degrees to the ecliptic plane (the plane of the earth's orbit about the sun).

There is little information on the physical properties of (4442) Garcia. 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 1/3847 of the brightness of the faintest objects that can be seen with the unaided eye.

The diagram below show the orbit of (4442) Garcia 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 (4442) Garcia tonight? Customisable ephemerides are available.

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