Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Will pass within 28,161,491 km of Earth in 2050
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

136793 (1997 AQ18) is a small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 1997 AQ18 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.

1997 AQ18 orbits the sun every 449 days (1.23 years), coming as close as 0.61 AU and reaching as far as 1.68 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 1997 AQ18 is probably between 0.553 to 1.236 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than ~97% of asteroids but small compared to large asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge.

1997 AQ18's spectral type None (Tholen) / C (SMASSII) indicates that it is likely to contain water, iron, nickel, cobalt, nitrogen, and ammonia.

Close Approaches

1997 AQ18's orbit is 0.19 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is a wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

1997 AQ18 has 7 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Dec. 14, 2050 28,161,491 15.412
Dec. 14, 2066 29,094,773 14.735
Dec. 15, 2082 27,711,295 16.010
Dec. 16, 2151 27,831,159 15.399
Dec. 17, 2167 27,358,135 16.259
Dec. 17, 2183 27,261,628 16.320
Dec. 16, 2199 27,534,679 15.465

Images and Observations

1997 AQ18's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Jan. 15, 1997. It was last officially observed on March 7, 2019. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 388 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 1997 AQ18:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459800.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.147 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.4654
  • Inclination: 17.37°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 296.26°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 37.04°
  • Mean Anomaly: 30.65°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.714 km
  • Magnitude: 18.41
  • Spectral type (SMASS): C

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 449 days (1.23 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 27.79 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.68 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.61 AU
  • Approx. Composition: water, iron, nickel, cobalt, nitrogen, and ammonia.

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 136793 (1997 AQ18) 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.

Size Rendering

The above comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of 1997 AQ18 to create an approximate landscape rendering with Mount Everest in the background. This approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.