8318 Averroes

8318 Averroes
Discovery [1]
Discovered byC. J. van Houten
I. van Houten-G.
T. Gehrels
Discovery sitePalomar Obs.
Discovery date29 September 1973
(8318) Averroes
Named after
(medieval Muslim astronomer)
1306 T-2 · 1990 QC7
main-belt[1][2] · (outer)
Themis[3][4] · background[5]
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 23 March 2018 (JD 2458200.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc64.13 yr (23,425 d)
Aphelion3.6928 AU
Perihelion2.6721 AU
3.1824 AU
5.68 yr (2,074 d)
0° 10m 24.96s / day
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
10.159±0.244 km[7]
C (est. Themis family)

8318 Averroes /əˈvɛrz/ is a dark Themistian asteroid from the outer regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 10 kilometers (6 miles) in diameter. It was discovered on 29 September 1973, by Dutch astronomers Ingrid and Cornelis van Houten at Leiden, and Tom Gehrels the Palomar Observatory, and assigned the provisional designation 1306 T-2.[1] The likely C-type asteroid was named after medieval Muslim astronomer Averroës.[1]

Orbit and classification[]

Averroes is a core member of the Themis family (602),[3][4] a prominent family. Alternatively, a different HCM-analysis by Nesvorny found it to be a Background asteroid.[5]

It orbits the Sun in the outer asteroid belt at a distance of 2.7–3.7 AU once every 5 years and 8 months (2,074 days; semi-major axis of 3.18 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.16 and an inclination of 1° with respect to the ecliptic.[2] The body's observation arc begins with a precovery taken at Palomar in April 1953, more than 20 years prior to its official discovery observation.[1]

Palomar–Leiden Trojan survey[]

The survey designation "T-2" stands for the second Palomar–Leiden Trojan survey, named after the fruitful collaboration of the Palomar and Leiden Observatory in the 1960s and 1970s. Gehrels used Palomar's Samuel Oschin telescope (also known as the 48-inch Schmidt Telescope), and shipped the photographic plates to Ingrid and Cornelis van Houten at Leiden Observatory where astrometry was carried out. The trio are cred with the discovery of several thousand asteroid discoveries.[8]

Physical characteristics[]

While no spectral type has been determined, Averroes is likely a carbonaceous C-type asteroid, based on its membership to the Themis family and the most common type in the outer main-belt.[3] The asteroid has an absolute magnitude of 13.5.[1][2] As of 2018, no rotational lightcurve of Averroes has been obtained from photometric observations. The body's rotation period, pole and shape remain unknown.[2]

Diameter and albedo[]

According to the survey carried out by the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, Averroes measures 10.159 kilometers in diameter and its surface has an albedo of 0.075.[7]


This minor planet was named after Muhammad ibn Rushd (1126–1198),[1] also known by his Latin name as Averroes, a medieval Muslim polymath from Andalusia,[9] whose many scientific accomplishments include a study of astronomy. The name "ibn Rushd" was Latinized to "Averroes", as his commentaries on Aristotle were being translated into Latin, bringing knowledge of that famous philosopher back to Christendom, where it had been nearly forgotten. These kinds of Latin translations of the 12th century brought classical and Islamic knowledge into Europe, spurring the Renaissance. The official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 5 October 1998 (M.P.C. 32792).[10]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i "8318 Averroes (1306 T-2)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 8318 Averroes (1306 T-2)" (2017-06-03 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b c "Asteroid 8318 Averroes". Small Bodies Data Ferret. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Asteroid (8318) Averroes". AstDyS-2, Asteroids – Dynamic Site. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Small Bodies Data Ferret". Nesvorny HCM Asteroid Families V3.0. Archived from the original on 2 August 2017. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  6. ^ "Averroës". Lexico UK Dictionary. Oxford University Press.
  7. ^ a b c Masiero, Joseph R.; Mainzer, A. K.; Grav, T.; Bauer, J. M.; Cutri, R. M.; Dailey, J.; et al. (November 2011). "Main Belt Asteroids with WISE/NEOWISE. I. Preliminary Albedos and Diameters". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 20. arXiv:1109.4096. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...68M. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/68. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  8. ^ "Minor Planet Discoverers (by number)". Minor Planet Center. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  9. ^ Ana Ruiz, Vibrant Andalusia: The Spice of Life in Southern Spain, p. 42.
  10. ^ "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 28 May 2018.

External links[]