Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Jupiter Trojan
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. state of Rhode Island (42.72 km diameter)
  • Not a Near Earth Object
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

Menelaus is a relatively small asteroid that shares Jupiter's orbit around the sun. NASA JPL has not classified Menelaus as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Menelaus orbits the sun every 4,346 days (11.90 years), coming as close as 5.10 AU and reaching as far as 5.32 AU from the sun. Menelaus is about 42.7 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than most asteroids, comparable in size to the U.S. state of Rhode Island.

The rotation of Menelaus has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 17.74 days.

No Close Approaches

Menelaus's orbit is 4.11 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

Menelaus's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Nov. 8, 1951. It was last officially observed on Aug. 21, 2019. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 1,631 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 Menelaus:

References

Search

   or view a random object

Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 5.2119187827 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.0212818993202
  • Inclination: 5.65035040322°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 240.309909123°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 297.88588996°
  • Mean Anomaly: 135.41383471°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 42.71600 km
  • Magnitude: 10.5
  • Albedo: 0.056

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 4,346 days (11.90 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 13.05 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 5.32 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 5.10 AU
  • Rotation Period: 17.74 days

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Menelaus 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.