Key Facts

Overview

Kepler is a small asteroid with an orbit that crosses the orbit of Mars. NASA JPL has not classified Kepler as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Kepler orbits the sun every 1,600 days (4.38 years), coming as close as 1.42 AU and reaching as far as 3.93 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, Kepler is probably between 3.842 to 8.591 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than most asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to the San Francisco Bay.

The rotation of Kepler has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 2.75 days.

Kepler's spectral type (Tholen) / S (SMASSII) indicates that it is likely to contain magnesium silicate and iron silicate.

No Close Approaches

Kepler's orbit is 0.43 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.

Orbital simulations conducted by NASA JPL's CNEOS do not show any close approaches to Earth.

Images and Observations

Kepler's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Sept. 25, 1929. It was last officially observed on April 4, 2019. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 1,392 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 Kepler:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.67728196064 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.469328593306
  • Inclination: 15.3139218807°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 5.78074298537°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 332.872296162°
  • Mean Anomaly: 140.216177538°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~4.960 km
  • Magnitude: 14.2
  • Spectral type (SMASS): S

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,600 days (4.38 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 18.20 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 3.93 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.42 AU
  • Rotation Period: 2.75 days
  • Approx. Composition: magnesium silicate and iron silicate.

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Kepler 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.