Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Amor-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Will pass within 25,351,973 km of Earth in 2052
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

Belenus is a small asteroid whose orbit approaches the orbit of Earth but does not cross it. NASA JPL has classified Belenus as a "Near Earth Asteroid" due to its orbit's proximity to Earth, but it is not considered potentially hazardous because computer simulations have not indicated any imminent likelihood of future collision.

Belenus orbits the sun every 838 days (2.29 years), coming as close as 1.15 AU and reaching as far as 2.33 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, Belenus is probably between 0.609 to 1.362 kilometers in diameter, making it small in absolute terms, but larger than ~97% of asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge.

The rotation of Belenus has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 5.43 days.

Close Approaches

Belenus's orbit is 0.17 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is an wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

Belenus has 2 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Jan. 26, 2052 25,351,973 2.120
Jan. 26, 2153 25,364,158 2.099

Images and Observations

Belenus's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Dec. 9, 1950. It was last officially observed on June 23, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 609 observations used to determine its orbit.

Accessibility and Exploration

This asteroid is not considered a viable target for human exploration by the NHATS study.

Similar Objects

These objects have orbits that share similar characteristics to the orbit of Belenus:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.74 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.3375
  • Inclination: 1.99°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 311.75°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 171.0°
  • Mean Anomaly: 77.55°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.786 km
  • Magnitude: 18.2

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 838 days (2.29 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 22.59 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.33 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.15 AU
  • Rotation Period: 5.43 hours

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Belenus is indicated by a ◯ pink circle. Note that the object may not be in your current field of view. Use the controls below to adjust position, location, and time.