Key Facts

Overview

Gerda is a large asteroid that orbits between Mars and Jupiter in the outer reaches of the main asteroid belt. NASA JPL has not classified Gerda as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Gerda orbits the sun every 2,110 days (5.78 years), coming as close as 3.12 AU and reaching as far as 3.32 AU from the sun. Gerda is about 70.7 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to the U.S. state of Rhode Island.

The rotation of Gerda has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 10.69 days.

Gerda's spectral type ST (Tholen) / L (SMASSII) indicates that it is likely to contain magnesium silicate, aluminum, and iron silicate.

No Close Approaches

Gerda's orbit is 2.14 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is an extremely 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

Gerda's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Aug. 1, 1872. It was last officially observed on Feb. 3, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 2,957 observations used to determine its orbit.

Scientists have been able to determine this object's shape.

View asteroid Gerda in 3D.

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 Gerda:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 3.223 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.0313
  • Inclination: 1.64°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 178.12°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 321.49°
  • Mean Anomaly: 41.99°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 70.67600 km
  • Magnitude: 7.7
  • Albedo: 0.297
  • Spectral type (Tholen): ST
  • Spectral type (SMASS): L

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 2,110 days (5.78 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 16.62 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 3.32 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 3.12 AU
  • Rotation Period: 10.69 days
  • Approx. Composition: magnesium silicate, aluminum, and iron silicate.

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Gerda 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.