Key Facts

Overview

Atira is a small asteroid with an orbit that is entirely confined within Earth's orbit. NASA JPL has classified Atira 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.

Atira orbits the sun every 233 days (0.64 years), coming as close as 0.50 AU and reaching as far as 0.98 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, Atira is probably between 1.461 to 3.266 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than most asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to Mount Everest.

The rotation of Atira has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 3.40 days.

No Close Approaches

Atira's orbit is 0.21 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

Atira's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Feb. 11, 2003. It was last officially observed on April 14, 2019. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 478 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 Atira:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 0.740918969008 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.322121959825
  • Inclination: 25.6201928444°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 103.888395845°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 252.886330714°
  • Mean Anomaly: 288.890865184°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~1.886 km
  • Magnitude: 16.3

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 233 days (0.64 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 34.60 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 0.98 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.50 AU
  • Rotation Period: 3.40 days

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Atira 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.