Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Will pass within 5,775,091 km of Earth in 2020
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

163373 (2002 PZ39) is a small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2002 PZ39 as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" due to its predicted close pass(es) with Earth.

2002 PZ39 orbits the sun every 650 days (1.78 years), coming as close as 0.67 AU and reaching as far as 2.27 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2002 PZ39 is probably between 0.441 to 0.986 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.

Close Approaches

2002 PZ39's orbit is 0.00 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that its orbit is relatively close to Earth's orbit.

2002 PZ39 has 14 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Feb. 15, 2020 5,775,091 15.189
March 4, 2036 29,351,597 11.031
July 23, 2059 28,364,822 11.163
Aug. 6, 2075 9,166,515 14.538
Feb. 3, 2077 25,483,512 21.477
Aug. 11, 2091 2,100,231 16.723
Feb. 9, 2093 9,695,227 18.278
Aug. 5, 2116 12,499,211 13.885
Feb. 5, 2118 25,116,601 21.414
March 1, 2134 24,813,083 11.525
Aug. 18, 2157 17,392,601 19.749
Feb. 17, 2159 5,866,448 15.162
Aug. 22, 2182 26,341,908 21.507
Feb. 24, 2184 17,435,836 12.867

Images and Observations

2002 PZ39's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Oct. 23, 1995. It was last officially observed on Feb. 16, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 1,018 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 2002 PZ39:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.469 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.5464
  • Inclination: 1.67°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 328.9°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 259.99°
  • Mean Anomaly: 30.46°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.569 km
  • Magnitude: 18.9

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 650 days (1.78 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 24.59 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.27 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.67 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 163373 (2002 PZ39) 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.