Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a school bus or smaller
  • Will pass within 28,300,316 km of Earth in 2020
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

2021 PL132 is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2021 PL132 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 PL132 orbits the sun every 377 days (1.03 years), coming as close as 0.86 AU and reaching as far as 1.18 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2021 PL132 is probably between 0.006 to 0.014 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a school bus or smaller.

Close Approaches

2021 PL132's orbit is 0.00 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that its orbit is relatively close to Earth's orbit.

2021 PL132 has 7 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
July 26, 2020 28,300,316 15.433
Aug. 2, 2021 348,013 12.691
Aug. 7, 2022 29,046,301 11.797
Jan. 27, 2024 16,605,297 12.236
Feb. 3, 2025 13,373,644 14.168
July 27, 2052 27,517,028 15.403
Aug. 3, 2053 1,706,007 12.502

NASA Sentry has assessed impact risk for 5 very close approach scenarios. Here are the top scenarios ordered by probability of impact:

Date Probability of Impact (%) Impact Energy (Mt)
Aug. 2, 2086 0.00169 0.01327
Aug. 3, 2117 0.00006 0.01326
Aug. 4, 2119 0.00005 0.01324
Jan. 31, 2119 0.00001 0.01361
Aug. 3, 2106 0.00000 0.01318

Images and Observations

2021 PL132's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Aug. 1, 2021. It was last officially observed on Aug. 2, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 11 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 2021 PL132:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459800.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.021 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.1583
  • Inclination: 23.22°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 130.21°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 277.68°
  • Mean Anomaly: 275.24°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.008 km
  • Magnitude: 28.21

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 377 days (1.03 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 29.46 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.18 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.86 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2021 PL132 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.