Interesting article on Phaethon

Forums Asteroids Interesting article on Phaethon

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    Michael O’Connell
    Richard Miles

    (3200) Phaeton is one of those asteroid-comet transition objects, so is particularly interesting. I see the article you refer to was the subject of a presentation by Teddy Kareta at the AAS Division of Planetary Sciences meeting last October. I have been corresponding with Teddy on another topic in recent months and am hoping to be a joint author on his latest paper.

    Concerning Phaeton, Alex Pratt has recently drawn our attention to a successful occultation campaign to measure its shape. A couple of weeks ago the object underwent a stellar occultation as seen from the USA and we now know that its silhouette measures 5.7 x 4.7 km. See:

    It is also on a target list of objects to be visited by the DESTINY+ space probe due to launch in 2022.

    Bill Ward


    Phaeton (3200) is indeed interesting. After reading a paper by Rendtel and Ryabova (I’ll dig up the full reference….) which mentioned that we might encounter very recently emitted particles during the Geminids in 2017, I hoped to pick up some significant differences in their spectra. Particularly an excess of sodium. But despite catching 7 good spectra nothing seemed out of the ordinary.

    I’m looking forward to what Destiny will reveal….



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