Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building
  • Will pass within 5,650,324 km of Earth in 2021
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

2015 NU13 is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2015 NU13 as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" due to its predicted close pass(es) with Earth.

2015 NU13 orbits the sun every 904 days (2.48 years), coming as close as 0.75 AU and reaching as far as 2.91 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2015 NU13 is probably between 0.305 to 0.682 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 90% of asteroids but tiny compared to large asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building.

Close Approaches

2015 NU13's orbit is 0.01 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.

2015 NU13 has 10 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Jan. 9, 2021 5,650,324 15.078
Aug. 15, 2035 12,751,981 17.913
Jan. 6, 2068 9,481,855 13.781
Sept. 5, 2077 19,583,854 11.933
Aug. 22, 2114 2,158,928 15.535
Dec. 29, 2131 20,465,794 11.690
Aug. 27, 2136 8,456,081 13.800
Jan. 12, 2154 4,825,853 15.274
Sept. 24, 2158 28,952,546 11.559
Jan. 26, 2176 29,701,102 21.273

Images and Observations

2015 NU13's orbit is determined by observations dating back to July 12, 2015. It was last officially observed on Aug. 16, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 72 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 2015 NU13:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.83 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.5901
  • Inclination: 4.21°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 139.91°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 260.4°
  • Mean Anomaly: 288.58°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.394 km
  • Magnitude: 19.7

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 904 days (2.48 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 22.02 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.91 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.75 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2015 NU13 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 2015 NU13 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.