2015 XW261 is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2015 XW261 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.
2015 XW261 orbits the sun every 510 days (1.40 years), coming as close as 0.67 AU and reaching as far as 1.83 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2015 XW261 is probably between 0.139 to 0.312 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a school bus or smaller.
2015 XW261'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.
2015 XW261 has 17 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:
|Date||Distance from Earth (km)||Velocity (km/s)|
|July 3, 2020||21,484,605||21.841|
|Dec. 29, 2022||17,719,852||20.953|
|June 24, 2027||24,568,695||19.654|
|Jan. 1, 2069||28,756,681||17.594|
|July 6, 2073||24,150,502||22.637|
|Dec. 30, 2075||17,416,172||20.217|
|June 26, 2080||22,233,952||20.175|
|Dec. 26, 2082||27,118,282||23.396|
|July 11, 2126||29,319,003||23.742|
|Jan. 1, 2129||19,947,586||19.094|
|July 2, 2133||20,771,621||21.134|
|Dec. 29, 2135||21,262,991||22.008|
|June 20, 2140||28,919,970||19.126|
|Jan. 2, 2182||23,394,065||18.426|
|July 5, 2186||21,838,204||21.833|
|Dec. 30, 2188||18,961,364||21.138|
|June 24, 2193||25,242,990||19.626|
2015 XW261's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Jan. 16, 2009. It was last officially observed on Aug. 15, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 197 observations used to determine its orbit.
The position of 2015 XW261 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.
The below comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of 2015 XW261 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.