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(24997) Petergabriel

Minor planet number 24997 has been named in honor of the rock musician Peter Gabriel.

The citation announcing the naming appeared on Minor Planet Circular 63641 (issued on 2008 Aug. 19), from which the following is extracted with permission:

(24997) Petergabriel = 1998 OO3                                                 
     Discovered 1998 July 23 by the OCA-DLR Asteroid Survey at Caussols.        
     Peter Gabriel (b. 1950) is a rock musician, cofounder of the Genesis       
progressive rock group.  He started his solo career in 1975.  An innovative     
artist, he is one of the promoters of world music.                              
Read about how minor planets are named.

About (24997) Petergabriel

(24997) Petergabriel is in a 3.66-year elliptical orbit around the sun ranging in distance from 309.8 million km (at perihelion, closest point to the sun) to 401.3 million km (at aphelion, furthest point from the sun).

The previous perihelion passage occurred on 2009 Aug. 25.4 UT.

The orbit is inclined by 2.9 degrees to the ecliptic plane (the plane of the earth's orbit about the sun).

There is little information on the physical properties of (24997) Petergabriel. Even its diameter is uncertain--a range of 2 to 4 km is probable.

You will need a telescope to see this minor planet as its maximum brightness is some 1/37296 of the brightness of the faintest objects that can be seen with the unaided eye.

The diagram below show the orbit of (24997) Petergabriel 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 (24997) Petergabriel tonight? Customisable ephemerides are available.

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