Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a basketball court
  • Will pass within 13,376,507 km of Earth in 2021
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation


2021 VW3 is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2021 VW3 as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" due to its predicted close pass(es) with Earth.

2021 VW3 orbits the sun every 1,040 days (2.85 years), coming as close as 0.80 AU and reaching as far as 3.21 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2021 VW3 is probably between 0.113 to 0.252 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a basketball court.

Close Approaches

2021 VW3's orbit is 0.02 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is a wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

2021 VW3 has 3 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Nov. 7, 2021 13,376,507 17.092
June 12, 2024 26,093,049 20.040
June 22, 2041 6,099,698 15.971

Images and Observations

2021 VW3's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Nov. 7, 2021. It was last officially observed on Dec. 23, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 120 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 VW3:



   or view a random object

Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2460200.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.005 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.5998
  • Inclination: 4.56°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 262.63°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 75.53°
  • Mean Anomaly: 248.95°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.146 km
  • Magnitude: 21.86

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,040 days (2.85 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 20.97 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 3.21 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.80 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2021 VW3 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.

Size Rendering

The below comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of 2021 VW3 to create an approximate landscape rendering with New York City in the background. This approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.