Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Aten-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a school bus or smaller
  • Will pass within 7,738,863 km of Earth in 2020
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

2021 LF6 is a very small asteroid whose orbit could bring it in close proximity to Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2021 LF6 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.

2021 LF6 orbits the sun every 357 days (0.98 years), coming as close as 0.95 AU and reaching as far as 1.02 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2021 LF6 is probably between 0.003 to 0.015 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a school bus or smaller.

Close Approaches

2021 LF6's orbit is 0.01 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that its orbit is relatively close to Earth's orbit.

2021 LF6 has 12 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
July 16, 2020 7,738,863 2.027
Dec. 9, 2020 5,932,904 1.908
June 16, 2021 1,405,379 1.689
June 27, 2022 24,864,220 5.551
May 3, 2055 8,327,320 2.053
Nov. 23, 2055 5,722,086 1.678
June 19, 2056 7,498,076 2.348
April 13, 2088 24,812,816 5.285
Jan. 22, 2089 6,609,419 1.549
May 27, 2089 2,451,481 1.533
June 2, 2090 6,799,612 2.265
May 31, 2091 25,688,806 5.640

Images and Observations

2021 LF6's orbit is determined by observations dating back to June 12, 2021. It was last officially observed on June 27, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 27 observations used to determine its orbit.

Accessibility and Exploration

2021 LF6 can be reached with a journey of 370 days. This trajectory would require a delta-v of 3.61 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 1,698,447 potential trajectories and launch windows to this asteroid.

See more at the NHATS Mission Trajectories table for 2021 LF6.

Similar Objects

These objects have orbits that share similar characteristics to the orbit of 2021 LF6:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459396.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 0.9843 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.0384
  • Inclination: 2.84°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 260.8°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 171.98°
  • Mean Anomaly: 208.54°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.009 km
  • Magnitude: 28.5

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 357 days (0.98 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 30.00 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.02 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.95 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2021 LF6 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.