Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building
  • Will pass within 20,523,779 km of Earth in 2019
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

2018 SF3 is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2018 SF3 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.

2018 SF3 orbits the sun every 372 days (1.02 years), coming as close as 0.86 AU and reaching as far as 1.17 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2018 SF3 is probably between 0.160 to 0.710 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building.

Close Approaches

2018 SF3's orbit is 0.06 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.

2018 SF3 has 9 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Sept. 9, 2019 20,523,779 4.563
Jan. 21, 2020 22,289,512 4.759
Aug. 13, 2020 25,102,478 4.640
Feb. 23, 2021 19,471,971 5.141
July 16, 2021 26,143,562 4.100
March 29, 2022 13,766,068 4.698
April 26, 2023 11,840,190 5.579
May 8, 2024 23,462,081 8.433
Oct. 22, 2070 16,328,572 7.131

Images and Observations

2018 SF3's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Sept. 30, 2018. It was last officially observed on Oct. 10, 2018. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 31 observations used to determine its orbit.

Accessibility and Exploration

2018 SF3 can be reached with a journey of 402 days. This trajectory would require a delta-v of 7.083 km/s. To put this into perspective, the delta-v to launch a rocket to Low-Earth Orbit is 9.7 km/s. There are 345,260 potential trajectories and launch windows to this asteroid.

See more at the NHATS Mission Trajectories table for 2018 SF3.

Similar Objects

These objects have orbits that share similar characteristics to the orbit of 2018 SF3:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.01173157702 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.151998044471
  • Inclination: 6.19348615016°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 356.389623289°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 134.969243624°
  • Mean Anomaly: 91.3962367571°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.435 km
  • Magnitude: 25.2

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 372 days (1.02 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 29.61 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.17 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.86 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2018 SF3 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.