(15874) 1996 TL66

(15874) 1996 TL66
Discovered byD. C. Jewitt
J. X. Luu
J. Chen
C. A. Trujillo
Discovery siteMauna Kea Obs.
Discovery date9 October 1996
(15874) 1996 TL66
1996 TL66
TNO[2] · SDO[3]
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 13 January 2016 (JD 2457400.5)
Uncertainty parameter 2
Observation arc5883 days (16.11 yr)
Aphelion131.75 AU (19.710 Tm)
Perihelion35.057 AU (5.2445 Tm)
83.403 AU (12.4769 Tm)
761.70 yr (278211 d)
0° 0m 4.658s / day
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
339±20 km[5]
575±115 km[6]
12 h (0.50 d)[2]
B–V = 0.687±0.072[7]
V–R = 0.369±0.052[7]

(15874) 1996 TL66, provisional designation 1996 TL66, is a trans-Neptunian object of the scattered disc orbiting in the outermost region of the Solar System.[2][3]

The Spitzer Space Telescope has estimated this object to be about 575 kilometres (357 mi) in diameter,[6] but 2012 estimates from the Herschel Space Observatory estimate the diameter as closer to 339 kilometres (211 mi).[5] It is not a detached object, since its perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) is under the influence of Neptune.[3] Light-curve-amplitude analysis suggests that it is a spheroid.[9] Tancredi presents "in the form of a decision tree, the set of questions to be considered in order to classify an object as an icy 'dwarf planet'." They find that (15874) 1996 TL66 is very probably a dwarf planet.[10] Mike Brown's website, using a radiometrically determined diameter of 344 kilometres (214 mi), lists it as a possible dwarf planet.[11]


Discovered in 1996 by David C. Jewitt et al., it was the first object to be categorized as a scattered-disk object (SDO), although (48639) 1995 TL8, discovered a year earlier, was later recognised as a scattered-disk object. It was considered one the largest known trans-Neptunian objects at the time of the discovery, being placed second after Pluto.[12] It came to perihelion in 2001.[2]

Orbit and size[]

1996 TL66's orbit

(15874) 1996 TL66 orbits the Sun with a semi-major axis of 83.9 AU[2] but is currently only 35 AU from the Sun with an apparent magnitude of 21.[8] In 2007, the Spitzer Space Telescope estimated it to have a low albedo with a diameter of about 575±115 km.[6] More-recent measurements in 2012 by the 'TNOs are Cool' research project and reanalysis of older data have resulted in a new estimate of these figures.[5] It is now assumed that it has a higher albedo and the diameter was revised downward to 339±20 km. Light-curve-amplitude analysis shows only small deviations, suggesting (15874) 1996 TL66 is a spheroid with small albedo spots and may be a dwarf planet.[9]


  1. ^ "MPEC 1997-B18: 1996 TL66". Minor Planet Center. 1997-01-30. Retrieved 2011-07-05.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 15874 (1996 TL66)" (2006-07-30 last obs). Retrieved 5 April 2016.
  3. ^ a b c Marc W. Buie (2006-07-30). "Orbit Fit and Astrometric record for 15874". SwRI (Space Science Department). Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  4. ^ "List Of Centaurs and Scattered-Disk Objects". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 2009-01-22.
  5. ^ a b c d Santos-Sanz, P.; et al. (2012). ""TNOs are Cool": A Survey of the Transneptunian Region IV. Size/albedo characterization of 15 scattered disk and detached objects observed with Herschel Space Observatory-PACS". Astronomy & Astrophysics. 541: A92. arXiv:1202.1481. Bibcode:2012A&A...541A..92S. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201118541. S2CID 118600525.
  6. ^ a b c d John Stansberry; Will Grundy; Mike Brown; Dale Cruikshank; John Spencer; David Trilling; et al. (2007). "Physical Properties of Kuiper Belt and Centaur Objects: Constraints from Spitzer Space Telescope". arXiv:astro-ph/0702538.
  7. ^ a b Hainaut, O. R.; Boehnhardt, H.; Protopapa, S. (October 2012). "Colours of minor bodies in the outer solar system. II. A statistical analysis revisited". Astronomy and Astrophysics. 546: 20. arXiv:1209.1896. Bibcode:2012A&A...546A.115H. doi:10.1051/0004-6361/201219566. S2CID 54776793.
  8. ^ a b "AstDys (15874) 1996TL66 Ephemerides". Department of Mathematics, University of Pisa, Italy. Retrieved 2010-02-10.
  9. ^ a b Tancredi, G., & Favre, S. (2008) Which are the dwarfs in the Solar System?. Depto. Astronomía, Fac. Ciencias, Montevideo, Uruguay; Observatorio Astronómico Los Molinos, MEC, Uruguay. Retrieved 10-08-2011
  10. ^ Tancredi, G. (2010). "Physical and dynamical characteristics of icy "dwarf planets" (plutoids)". Icy Bodies of the Solar System: Proceedings IAU Symposium No. 263, 2009. 263: 173. Bibcode:2010IAUS..263..173T. doi:10.1017/S1743921310001717.
  11. ^ Michael E. Brown. "How many dwarf planets are there in the outer solar system? (updates daily)". California Institute of Technology. Archived from the original on 2011-10-18. Retrieved 2014-06-16.
  12. ^ "1996 TO66 -- Another Large Transneptunian Object". Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics. 19 June 1997. Retrieved 18 July 2020.

External links[]