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(6433) Enya

Minor planet number 6433 has been named in honor of the Irish singer/song-writer, Enya.

The citation announcing the naming appeared on Minor Planet Circular 30099 (issued on 1997 June 20), from which the following is extracted with permission:

(6433) Enya = 1978 WC                                                           
     Discovered 1978 Nov. 18 by A. Mrkos at Klet.                               
     Named in honor of the Irish singer and songwriter Eithne                   
Ní Bhraonáin (b. 1961, professional name Enya).  Name suggested                 
by G. V. Williams, who made the identifications involving this object.          
Read about how minor planets are named.

About (6433) Enya

(6433) Enya is in a 3.69-year elliptical orbit around the sun ranging in distance from 279.4 million km (at perihelion, closest point to the sun) to 434.9 million km (at aphelion, furthest point from the sun).

The previous perihelion passage occurred on 2008 May 2.9 UT.

The orbit is inclined by 8.6 degrees to the ecliptic plane (the plane of the earth's orbit about the sun).

There is little information on the physical properties of (6433) Enya. Even its diameter is uncertain--a range of 4 to 9 km is probable.

You will need a telescope to see this minor planet as its maximum brightness is some 1/4158 of the brightness of the faintest objects that can be seen with the unaided eye.

The diagram below show the orbit of (6433) Enya 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 (6433) Enya tonight? Customisable ephemerides are available.

A CCD image (6 K) of Enya, showing its motion over a period of about an hour on 1994 Jan. 21, is available. Individual stars appear as two images, one vertically on top of the other. One image of Enya (just to the right of the centre of the image) shows a horizontal shift with respect to the other as a result of the motion of the minor planet. The images were taken by J. Tichá and M. Tichý at Klet Observatory, and are reproduced here with permission.

Enya has her own official website and this has links to fan sites.

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