9936 Al-Biruni

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9936 Al-Biruni
Orbit of 9936 Al-Biruni (blue) compared to the inner planets and Jupiter (red)
Discovery [1]
Discovered by E. W. Elst
V. Ivanova
Discovery site Rozhen Obs.
Discovery date 8 August 1986
MPC designation 9936 Al-Biruni
Named after
Al-Biruni (astronomer)[2]
1986 PN4 · 1981 UV12
main-belt · (outer)[3]
Orbital characteristics[1]
Epoch 31 July 2016 (JD 2457600.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 34.4 yr (12,564 days)
Aphelion 3.657 AU
Perihelion 2.5066 AU
3.0818 AU
Eccentricity 0.1866
5.41 yr (1,976 days)
Inclination 15.4374°
Earth MOID 1.48847 AU (222.672 Gm)
Jupiter MOID 1.66791 AU (249.516 Gm)
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 27.81±1.61 km[4]
24.187±0.314 km[5]
22.16 km (calculated)[3]
10.704±0.010 h[6]
0.057 (assumed)[3]

9936 Al-Biruni, provisional designation 1986 PN4, is a carbonaceous asteroid from the outer region of the asteroid belt, approximately 24 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 8 August 1986, by Belgian and Bulgarian astronomers Eric Elst and Violeta Ivanova at the Rozhen Observatory, located in Bulgaria's Smolyan province near the border to Greece.[7]

The C-type asteroid orbits the Sun at a distance of 2.5–3.7 AU once every 5 years and 5 months (1,976 days). Its orbit is tilted by 15° to the plane of the ecliptic and shows an eccentricity of 0.19.[1] The first precovery was taken at Crimea-Nauchnij in 1981, extending the asteroid's observation arc by 5 years prior to its discovery.[7]

A rotational light-curve was obtained for this asteroid from photometric observations made at the U.S. Goodsell Observatory (741), Minnesota, in August 2002. The light-curve gave a rotation period of 10.704±0.010 hours with a brightness amplitude of 0.14 in magnitude (U=2)[6]

According to the space-based surveys carried out by the Japanese Akari satellite and the NEOWISE mission of NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, the asteroid measures 27.8 and 24.2 kilometers in diameter, respectively, and its surface has a corresponding albedo of 0.05 and 0.06.[4][5] The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes a standard albedo for carbonaceous asteroids of 0.057 and calculates a diameter of 22.2 kilometers, based on an absolute magnitude of 12.0.[3]

The minor planet was named after the Persian scholar and polymath Al-Biruni (973–1048). Regarded as the founder of Indology and the father of geodesy, he made important contributions to anthropology, mathematics and astronomy. In particular, he is known for developing a method for the summation of series, for solving algebraic equations, and for the triangulation of distances on Earth's surface.[2] Naming citation was published on 26 September 2007 (M.P.C. 60728).[8] The lunar crater Al-Biruni is also named in his honour.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: 9936 Al-Biruni (1986 PN4)" (2016-03-17 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved May 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  2. 2.0 2.1 Schmadel, Lutz D. (2003). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (9936) Al-Biruni. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 712. ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7. Retrieved May 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "LCDB Data for (9936) Al-Biruni". Asteroid Lightcurve Database (LCDB). Retrieved May 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 Usui, Fumihiko; Kuroda, Daisuke; Müller, Thomas G.; Hasegawa, Sunao; Ishiguro, Masateru; Ootsubo, Takafumi; et al. (October 2011). "Asteroid Catalog Using Akari: AKARI/IRC Mid-Infrared Asteroid Survey". Publications of the Astronomical Society of Japan. 63 (5): 1117–1138. Bibcode:2011PASJ...63.1117U. doi:10.1093/pasj/63.5.1117. Retrieved May 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 Mainzer, A.; Grav, T.; Masiero, J.; Hand, E.; Bauer, J.; Tholen, D.; et al. (November 2011). "NEOWISE Studies of Spectrophotometrically Classified Asteroids: Preliminary Results". The Astrophysical Journal. 741 (2): 25. Bibcode:2011ApJ...741...90M. arXiv:1109.6407Freely accessible. doi:10.1088/0004-637X/741/2/90. Retrieved May 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  6. 6.0 6.1 Clark, Maurice; Joyce, Brian (December 2002). "Asteroid lightcurve photometry from Goodsell Observatory (741)". The Minor Planet Bulletin. 30 (1): 4–7. Bibcode:2003MPBu...30....4C. ISSN 1052-8091. Retrieved December 2015.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  7. 7.0 7.1 "9936 Al-Biruni (1986 PN4)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved May 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)
  8. "MPC/MPO/MPS Archive". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved May 2016.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External links