Key Facts

  • Classified as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a school bus or smaller
  • Will pass within 18,798,132 km of Earth in 2025
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

2018 XM2 is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2018 XM2 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 XM2 orbits the sun every 510 days (1.40 years), coming as close as 0.95 AU and reaching as far as 1.55 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2018 XM2 is probably between 0.022 to 0.049 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a school bus or smaller.

Close Approaches

2018 XM2's orbit is 0.03 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 XM2 has 1 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Dec. 5, 2025 18,798,132 14.801

Images and Observations

2018 XM2's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Dec. 10, 2018. It was last officially observed on Dec. 14, 2018. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 44 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 2018 XM2:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.24877183143 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.241067426674
  • Inclination: 22.4815140202°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 257.406922251°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 228.574511923°
  • Mean Anomaly: 66.5386973757°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.029 km
  • Magnitude: 25.4

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 510 days (1.40 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 26.65 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.55 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.95 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2018 XM2 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.