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7066 Nessus facts for kids

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7066 Nessus
Discovered by David L. Rabinowitz
Discovery date April 26, 1993
1993 HA2
Orbital characteristics
Epoch December 31, 2006 (JD 2454100.5)
Aphelion 5607.451 Gm (37.483 AU)
Perihelion 1769.167 Gm (11.826 AU)
3688.309 Gm (24.655 AU)
Eccentricity 0.520
44714.802 d (122.42 a)
5.57 km/s
Inclination 15.647°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 60±16 km
Mass ~1.6×1017 kg
Mean density
2.0? g/cm³
Equatorial surface gravity
~0.0148 m/s²
Equatorial escape velocity
~0.0280 km/s
? d
Pole ecliptic latitude
Pole ecliptic longitude
Temperature ~56 K

7066 Nessus is a centaur (a type of icy planetoid) that was found by David L. Rabinowitz, working with Spacewatch, at Kitt Peak on 26 April, 1993. It was the second centaur found by him (5145 Pholus being his first), and the third centaur to be found (2060 Chiron was the first). It was officially announced on May 13, 1993 in IAUC 5789 with designation 1993 HA2.


Nessus finishes one orbit around the Sun in 122.4 years, an eccentricity of 0.52 and an inclination to the ecliptic of 15.6 degrees. At perihelion (closest approach to the Sun), it moves closer to the Sun than Uranus, while at aphelion (farthest approach to the Sun) it goes even farther thanNeptune.

The orbits of centaurs change from time to time because of interactions with the giant planets. Nessus is thought to have a fairly long orbital half-life of about 4.9 Myr.

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