Key Facts

Overview

Pallas is a very large asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter in the main portion of the asteroid belt. NASA JPL has not classified Pallas as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Pallas orbits the sun every 1,686 days (4.62 years), coming as close as 2.13 AU and reaching as far as 3.41 AU from the sun. Pallas is about 545.0 kilometers in diameter, making it one of the largest asteroids, comparable in size to Great Britain.

The rotation of Pallas has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 7.81 days.

Pallas's spectral type B (Tholen) / B (SMASSII) indicates that it is likely to contain iron, hydrogen, ammonia, and nitrogen.

No Close Approaches

Pallas's orbit is 1.23 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is a 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

Pallas's orbit is determined by observations dating back to May 9, 1821. It was last officially observed on Feb. 10, 2018. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 8,441 observations used to determine its orbit.

Scientists have been able to determine this object's shape.

View asteroid Pallas in 3D.

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 Pallas:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.77246592282 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.230336812252
  • Inclination: 34.8362346056°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 173.080061828°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 310.048858453°
  • Mean Anomaly: 59.6991309841°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 545.00000 km
  • Magnitude: 4.13
  • Albedo: 0.101
  • Spectral type (Tholen): B
  • Spectral type (SMASS): B

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,686 days (4.62 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 17.89 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 3.41 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 2.13 AU
  • Rotation Period: 7.81 days
  • Approx. Composition: iron, hydrogen, ammonia, and nitrogen.

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Pallas 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.