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Post Info TOPIC: Asteroid 2011 HM102


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Title: 2011 HM102: Discovery of a High-Inclination L5 Neptune Trojan in the Search for a post-Pluto New Horizons Target
Authors: Alex H. Parker, Marc W. Buie, David J. Osip, Stephen D. J. Gwyn, Matthew J. Holman, David M. Borncamp, John R. Spencer, Susan D. Benecchi, Richard P. Binzel, Francesca E. DeMeo, Sebastian Fabbro, Cesar I. Fuentes, Pamela L. Gay, J. J. Kavelaars, Brian A. McLeod, Jean-Marc Petit, Scott S. Sheppard, S. Alan Stern, David J. Tholen, David E. Trilling, Darin A. Ragozzine, Lawrence H. Wasserman, the Ice Hunters

We present the discovery of a long-term stable L5 (trailing) Neptune Trojan in data acquired to search for candidate Trans-Neptunian objects for the New Horizons spacecraft to fly by during an extended post-Pluto mission. This Neptune Trojan, 2011 HM102, has the highest inclination (29.4 degrees) of any known member of this population. It is intrinsically brighter than any single L5 Jupiter Trojan at H~8.18. We have determined its gri colours (a first for any L5 Neptune Trojan), which we find to be similar to the moderately red colours of the L4 Neptune Trojans, suggesting similar surface properties for members of both Trojan clouds. We also present colours derived from archival data for two L4 Neptune Trojans (2006 RJ103 and 2007 VL305), better refining the overall colour distribution of the population. In this document we describe the discovery circumstances, our physical characterisation of 2011 HM102, and this object's implications for the Neptune Trojan population overall. Finally, we discuss the prospects for detecting 2011 HM102 from the New Horizons spacecraft during their close approach in mid- to late-2013.

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Neptune Trojan 2011 HM102
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A new companion for Neptune

So, what kind of serendipitous discovery did we make? We found a Neptune Trojan, now called 2011 HM102! And it's not just any Neptune Trojan: it makes a list of superlatives. It's the largest trailing Trojan known in the entire Solar System, it's the most inclined Neptune Trojan known
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RE: Asteroid 2011 HM102
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2011 HM102 is an L5 Neptune Trojan, trailing Neptune by approximately 60 degrees. This object was discovered in the search for a New Horizons post-Pluto encounter object in the Kuiper Belt.
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Orbital elements:
2011 HM102
Epoch 2012 Sept. 30.0 TT = JDT 2456200.5                MPC
M  22.48290              (2000.0)            P               Q
n   0.00598318     Peri.  152.05154     -0.23236251     +0.84468058
a  30.0502387      Node   100.98900     -0.95858781     -0.11494405
e   0.0785095      Incl.   29.42032     -0.16467263     -0.52278349
P 164.73           H    8.1           G   0.15           U   4

MPEC 2012 - T05



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