Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a football field
  • Will pass within 23,615,969 km of Earth in 2020
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

1996 AE2 is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 1996 AE2 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.

1996 AE2 orbits the sun every 584 days (1.60 years), coming as close as 1.02 AU and reaching as far as 1.72 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 1996 AE2 is probably between 0.242 to 0.542 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a football field.

Close Approaches

1996 AE2's orbit is 0.12 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.

1996 AE2 has 7 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Jan. 15, 2020 23,615,969 19.571
Jan. 15, 2028 26,532,815 19.465
Jan. 21, 2167 27,805,317 21.487
Jan. 21, 2175 24,431,742 21.131
Jan. 20, 2183 22,054,672 20.861
Jan. 20, 2191 20,620,324 20.685
Jan. 19, 2199 19,864,934 20.575

Images and Observations

1996 AE2's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Jan. 15, 1996. It was last officially observed on Jan. 12, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 229 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 1996 AE2:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.368 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.2567
  • Inclination: 37.36°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 118.95°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 305.91°
  • Mean Anomaly: 230.93°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.313 km
  • Magnitude: 20.2

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 584 days (1.60 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 25.48 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.72 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.02 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 1996 AE2 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.