Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a school bus or smaller
  • Will pass within 25,649,617 km of Earth in 2021
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

2011 SO32 is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2011 SO32 as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" due to its predicted close pass(es) with Earth.

2011 SO32 orbits the sun every 827 days (2.26 years), coming as close as 0.90 AU and reaching as far as 2.55 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2011 SO32 is probably between 0.153 to 0.342 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a school bus or smaller.

Close Approaches

2011 SO32's orbit is 0.05 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.

2011 SO32 has 8 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Jan. 14, 2021 25,649,617 8.163
Nov. 17, 2054 19,857,461 8.465
Oct. 30, 2088 9,746,498 10.012
Feb. 10, 2098 27,758,541 12.999
Nov. 7, 2122 14,031,890 9.108
Dec. 27, 2156 26,228,079 8.208
Oct. 24, 2181 9,965,658 12.127
Feb. 3, 2191 23,449,520 9.932

Images and Observations

2011 SO32's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Sept. 22, 2011. It was last officially observed on Oct. 18, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 246 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 2011 SO32:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.725 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.4767
  • Inclination: 9.91°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 198.78°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 243.58°
  • Mean Anomaly: 271.43°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.197 km
  • Magnitude: 21.2

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 827 days (2.26 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 22.69 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.55 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.90 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2011 SO32 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.

Size Rendering

The below comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of 2011 SO32 to create an approximate landscape rendering with New York City in the background. This approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.