3908 Nyx

3908 Nyx
3908 nyx-s02.jpg
Discovered by Hans-Emil Schuster
Discovery date August 6, 1980
Named after Nyx
Alternate name(s) 1980 PA; 1988 XB1
Minor planet
Amor; Mars-crosser
Adjective Nyctian
Epoch June 14, 2006 (JD 2453900.5)
Aphelion 420.707 Gm (2.812 AU)
Perihelion 156.151 Gm (1.044 AU)
Semi-major axis 288.429 Gm (1.928 AU)
Eccentricity 0.459
Orbital period 977.843 d (2.68 a)
Average orbital speed 20.27 km/s
Mean anomaly 218.206°
Inclination 2.180°
Longitude of ascending node 261.560°
Argument of perihelion 126.177°
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 1.04 ± 0.16 km
Mass 1.0–8.4×1012 kg
Mean density 2.0? g/cm³
Equatorial surface gravity 0.0003–0.0006 m/s²
Escape velocity 0.0005–0.0011 km/s
Rotation period 4.42601 h
Albedo 0.10?
Temperature ~200? K
Spectral type V
Absolute magnitude (H) 17.4

3908 Nyx is an Amor and Mars-crosser asteroid. It was discovered by Hans-Emil Schuster on August 6, 1980, and is named after Nyx, the Greek goddess of the night, after which Pluto's moon Nix is also named. It is 1–2 km in diameter and is a V-type asteroid, meaning that it may be a fragment of the asteroid 4 Vesta.

In 2000, radar observations conducted at the Arecibo and Goldstone observatories produced a model of Nyx's shape; the asteroid can best be described as spherical but with many protruding lumps.

To avoid confusion with 3908 Nyx, Pluto's moon Nix was changed from the initial proposal of the classical spelling Nyx, to Nix.[1]

See also


  1. ^ "Planet and Satellite Names and Discoverers". Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature. USGS Astrogeology. July 21, 2006. http://planetarynames.wr.usgs.gov/append7.html. Retrieved 2006-08-15. 

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