2598 Merlin, provisional designation 1980 RY, is a carbonaceous Dorian asteroid from the central regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 16 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 7 September 1980, by American astronomer Edward Bowell at Lowell's Anderson Mesa Station in Flagstaff, Arizona, United States. The asteroid was named after the legendary wizard Merlin in Arthurian legend.
Merlin is a member of the Dora family (512), a well-established central asteroid family of more than 1,200 carbonaceous asteroids. The family's namesake is 668 Dora. It is alternatively known as the "Zhongolovich family", named after its presumably largest member 1734 Zhongolovich. The Dora family may also contain a subfamily.:13,23
Merlin orbits the Sun in the central main-belt at a distance of 2.2–3.4 AU once every 4 years and 8 months (1,694 days). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.22 and an inclination of 8° with respect to the ecliptic. In Nombember 1948, the asteroid was first identified 1948 WH at Uccle Observatory, where the body's observation arc begins 32 years prior to its official discovery observation at Anderson Mesa.