Universe Guide


Orcus is a Kuiper Belt object, a large rock that orbits round outside the orbit of Neptune. It has been categorised as a Plutino object. Its mass is estimated/calculated at being 6.2-70x10^20 kg kg. Its name is derived from Gaulish God of the Underworld. It has an alternative name which is 2004 DWB. Its density has been calculated at being 2.0 g/cm2.

Orcus was discovered on 17 February 2004 by M.Brown, C. Trujillo, D. Rabonowitz. Its orbit takes 90558.570 d (247.94 a) years to travel round the Sun.

The absolute magnitude of the object is 2.3 which is the brightness of the object. A higher absolute magnitude means that the object is faint whereas a very low number means it is very bright.

The albedo of the object is 0.09. The Albedo is the amount of radiation that is reflected back into space by the object.

The Aphelion of the object is 48.071 A.U. which is the point in the orbit that is furthest from the object that it is orbit. At this point, it will then return back to the orbit target. The Perihelion of the object is 4616.704 GM (30.861 AU) A.U. which is the point in the orbit that is closest to the object that it is orbit around. The Longitude of Ascending Node of the object is 268.556 degrees. The Argument of Perihelion is 73.231. It is the angle along the orbit of a planet or other Solar System object as measured from the ascending node (analogous to right ascension and longitude) Ref:Hawaii.

The mean anomoly is 158.056, is the angular distance of the planet from the perihelion or aphelion. Ref:Dictionary.The Escape Velocity of the object is 0.4441-09939 Km/s km/h. The Escape Velocity is the speed an object needs to be travelling in order to break free from the objects gravity. The larger an object is, the more velocity (speed) is needed to break free from the object.The Semi-Major Axis of the orbit is 5903.997 GM (39.466 AU), which is the furthest point from the centre to the edge of an elliptical point.

The mean temperature of the object is ~45K.

The surface gravity of the said item is 0.2348-0.5254 m/s2.

The orbital inclination, the angle at which Orcus orbits in relation to the orbital plane is 20.559 degrees. The orbital eccentricity is 0.218, it is the degree at which Orcus orbits close to a circular (0) orbit as opposed to an elliptical (1) orbit.

Path of Orcus Orbit

If the white lines are above, then the path of the object is under the ecliptic. If the white lines are below, the path is above the ecliptic. This refers to the Inclination of the object. The image was created using N.A.S.A. Solar System Dynamics.

Path of Orcus Orbit

Orcus Facts

TypeKuiper Belt Object
Mass (kg)6.2-70x10^20 kg
Name OriginGaulish God of the Underworld
Alternative Name2004 DWB
Density (g/cm^3)2.0 g/cm2
Date of Discovery17 February 2004
DiscovererM.Brown, C. Trujillo, D. Rabonowitz
Orbital Period90558.570 d (247.94 a)
Absolute Magnitude2.3
Aphelion (Furthest)48.071 A.U.
Perihelion (Nearest)4616.704 GM (30.861 AU) A.U.
Longitude Of Ascending Node268.556
Argument of Perihelion73.231
Mean Anomoly158.056
Escape Velocity (km/h)0.4441-09939 Km/s
Semi-Major Axis5903.997 GM (39.466 AU)
Mean Surface Temperature~45K
Surface Gravity (m/s^2)0.2348-0.5254 m/s2
Orbital Inclination (degrees)20.559
Orbital Eccentricity0.218

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