Key Facts

Overview

Stearns is a mid-sized asteroid with an orbit that crosses the orbit of Mars. NASA JPL has not classified Stearns as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Stearns orbits the sun every 945 days (2.59 years), coming as close as 1.64 AU and reaching as far as 2.13 AU from the sun. Stearns is about 4.8 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to the San Francisco Bay.

The rotation of Stearns has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 93.00 hours.

Stearns's spectral type E (Tholen) / Xe (SMASSII) indicates that it is likely to contain iron, nickel, and cobalt.

No Close Approaches

Stearns's orbit is 0.63 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is an very wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

Orbital simulations conducted by NASA JPL's CNEOS do not show any close approaches to Earth.

Images and Observations

Stearns's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Sept. 21, 1973. It was last officially observed on June 5, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 2,780 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 Stearns:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459396.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.884 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.1313
  • Inclination: 27.75°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 77.03°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 200.68°
  • Mean Anomaly: 229.93°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 4.82400 km
  • Magnitude: 12.48
  • Albedo: 0.649
  • Spectral type (Tholen): E
  • Spectral type (SMASS): Xe

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 945 days (2.59 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 21.69 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.13 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.64 AU
  • Rotation Period: 93.00 hours
  • Approx. Composition: iron, nickel, and cobalt.

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Stearns 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 above comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of Stearns to create an approximate landscape rendering with Mount Everest in the background. This approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.