Key Facts

  • Classified as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. Pentagon (1.50 km diameter)
  • Will pass within 5,279,656 km of Earth in 2046
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

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

Apollo orbits the sun every 651 days (1.78 years), coming as close as 0.65 AU and reaching as far as 2.29 AU from the sun. Apollo is about 1.5 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than most asteroids, comparable in size to the U.S. Pentagon.

The rotation of Apollo has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 3.07 days.

Apollo's spectral type Q (Tholen) / Q (SMASSII) indicates that it is likely to contain nickel-iron.

Close Approaches

Apollo's orbit is 0.03 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.

Apollo has 13 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Nov. 13, 2046 5,279,656 17.982
May 13, 2048 7,444,191 16.150
Nov. 17, 2071 15,949,724 20.338
May 20, 2073 19,736,735 13.579
Nov. 5, 2080 14,650,300 14.572
May 12, 2082 4,982,953 17.507
May 6, 2091 20,280,158 21.152
Nov. 19, 2141 17,112,861 20.586
May 28, 2143 27,635,185 12.105
Nov. 10, 2150 8,640,912 15.851
May 14, 2152 6,038,372 16.682
May 6, 2161 22,449,941 21.552
Nov. 22, 2193 26,175,050 22.447

Images and Observations

Apollo's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Dec. 13, 1930. It was last officially observed on April 27, 2019. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 1,681 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 Apollo:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.47004510546 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.559823397558
  • Inclination: 6.35512300847°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 35.6305446544°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 285.970751541°
  • Mean Anomaly: 227.379825599°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 1.50000 km
  • Magnitude: 16.25
  • Albedo: 0.25
  • Spectral type (Tholen): Q
  • Spectral type (SMASS): Q

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 651 days (1.78 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 24.57 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.29 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.65 AU
  • Rotation Period: 3.07 days
  • Approx. Composition: nickel-iron.

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Apollo 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.