Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building
  • Will pass within 20,578,478 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 0.150 to 0.680 kilometers in diameter, making it small in absolute terms, but larger than 90% of asteroids, 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 41 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Sept. 9, 2019 20,578,478 4.572
Jan. 21, 2020 22,330,386 4.771
Aug. 13, 2020 25,167,025 4.649
Feb. 23, 2021 19,486,824 5.152
July 15, 2021 26,195,546 4.103
March 29, 2022 13,751,330 4.706
April 26, 2023 11,918,650 5.611
May 8, 2024 23,664,627 8.483
Oct. 20, 2069 29,244,786 9.893
Oct. 22, 2070 14,150,496 6.618
Oct. 13, 2071 10,927,515 4.416
Sept. 16, 2072 18,768,345 4.498
Jan. 9, 2073 22,286,027 4.408
Aug. 21, 2073 24,259,097 4.677
Feb. 14, 2074 20,608,596 5.182
July 24, 2074 26,291,432 4.354
March 20, 2075 15,450,812 4.832
April 20, 2076 11,091,298 5.086
May 6, 2077 20,004,450 7.679
Oct. 21, 2122 29,198,644 9.901
Oct. 24, 2123 14,053,780 6.575
Oct. 13, 2124 11,073,204 4.391
Sept. 16, 2125 18,924,550 4.489
Jan. 11, 2126 22,262,840 4.467
Aug. 21, 2126 24,374,614 4.701
Feb. 16, 2127 20,524,514 5.182
July 24, 2127 26,307,402 4.321
March 21, 2128 15,286,440 4.823
April 23, 2129 11,205,985 5.161
May 8, 2130 20,956,794 7.897
Oct. 23, 2175 23,850,602 8.759
Oct. 22, 2176 10,842,687 5.618
Oct. 5, 2177 13,670,690 4.265
Sept. 8, 2178 21,011,361 4.614
Jan. 23, 2179 22,188,068 4.895
Aug. 13, 2179 25,293,983 4.651
Feb. 26, 2180 19,275,983 5.153
July 14, 2180 25,999,366 4.087
March 31, 2181 13,621,494 4.693
April 28, 2182 12,444,982 5.698
May 11, 2183 24,613,163 8.661

Images and Observations

2018 SF3's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Sept. 30, 2018. It was last officially observed on Aug. 31, 2019. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 39 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 7.107 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 340,610 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: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.012 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.1523
  • Inclination: 6.21°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 356.33°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 134.8°
  • Mean Anomaly: 118.99°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.415 km
  • Magnitude: 25.3

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 372 days (1.02 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 29.60 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.