Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a school bus or smaller
  • Will pass within 7,834,369 km of Earth in 2021
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

2017 AE3 is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2017 AE3 as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" due to its predicted close pass(es) with Earth.

2017 AE3 orbits the sun every 915 days (2.51 years), coming as close as 0.66 AU and reaching as far as 3.02 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2017 AE3 is probably between 0.111 to 0.248 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a school bus or smaller.

The rotation of 2017 AE3 has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 1.00 hours.

Close Approaches

2017 AE3's orbit is 0.02 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.

2017 AE3 has 10 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Dec. 31, 2021 7,834,369 20.192
Jan. 4, 2027 17,903,292 22.227
July 7, 2109 27,249,205 23.431
July 11, 2114 16,788,762 21.051
July 15, 2119 11,386,543 18.983
July 19, 2124 14,403,138 17.010
July 25, 2129 22,347,970 15.023
Dec. 19, 2184 20,637,096 15.112
Dec. 25, 2189 12,416,724 16.676
Dec. 29, 2194 6,452,987 18.145

Images and Observations

2017 AE3's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Jan. 5, 2012. It was last officially observed on Jan. 25, 2022. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 183 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 2017 AE3:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.844 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.6402
  • Inclination: 9.49°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 269.37°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 107.59°
  • Mean Anomaly: 26.04°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.143 km
  • Magnitude: 21.9

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 915 days (2.51 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 21.92 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 3.02 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.66 AU
  • Rotation Period: 1.00 hours

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2017 AE3 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 2017 AE3 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.