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2059 Baboquivari, provisional designation 1963 UA, is an asteroid classified as near-Earth object of the Amor group, approximately 1.9 kilometers in diameter. Discovered by the Indiana Asteroid Program in 1963, it was later named after the Baboquivari Mountains in Arizona, United States.
Discovery and recovery
Baboquivari is one of the lowest numbered near-Earth asteroids as it was already discovered on 16 October 1963. The discovery observation was made by the Indiana Asteroid Program at Goethe Link Observatory near Brooklyn, Indiana, in the United States. Three months later, it became a lost asteroid until June 1976, when it was recovered by the Steward Observatory's 90-inch Bok Telescope at Kitt Peak National Observatory located in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona.
Classification and orbit
Baboquivari is an Amor asteroid – a subgroup of near-Earth asteroids that approach the orbit of Earth from beyond, but do not cross it. It orbits the Sun at a distance of 1.2–4.1 AU once every 4 years and 4 months (1,577 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.53 and an inclination of 11° with respect to the ecliptic. The body's observation arc begins at the discovering observatory, 10 days after its official discovery observation.
The asteroid has an Earth minimum orbit intersection distance of 0.2537 AU (38,000,000 km), which corresponds to 98.8 lunar distances. It approached the Earth at a similar distance on 20 October 1963, shortly after its discovery. The eccentric asteroid is also a Mars-crosser and approached Jupiter at a distance of about 1.4 AU on 20 April 1970.
Diameter and albedo
It is classified as a near-Earth object larger than one kilometer in diameter by the Minor Planet Center ("1+ KM"). A generic magnitude-to-diameter conversion gives a diameter of 1.9 kilometers, based on the body's absolute magnitude of 16.0 and an assumed standard albedo for stony S-type asteroids (Baboquivari would still measure 1.3 kilometers in diameter, if it had a higher albedo of 0.4, typically seen among bright members of the Hungaria family).
This minor planet was named after the main-peak of the Baboquivari Mountains, a sacred location in the mythology of the Papago Indian Tribe. The Observatories of the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) are located on the Baboquivari land, just a few kilometers south of Kitt Peak. The approved naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 1 December 1979 (M.P.C. 5038).