Key Facts

  • Classified as a Aten-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge (1.10 km diameter)
  • Will pass within 28,508,318 km of Earth in 2032
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

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

Aten orbits the sun every 347 days (0.95 years), coming as close as 0.79 AU and reaching as far as 1.14 AU from the sun. Aten is about 1.1 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than most asteroids, comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge.

The rotation of Aten has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 40.77 days.

Aten's spectral type S (Tholen) / Sr (SMASSII) indicates that it is likely to contain magnesium silicate and iron silicate.

Close Approaches

Aten's orbit is 0.11 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.

Aten has 13 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Dec. 31, 2032 28,508,318 10.255
Jan. 20, 2034 19,925,515 11.397
Jan. 14, 2053 17,651,334 10.466
Jan. 2, 2072 27,558,101 10.239
Jan. 21, 2073 20,766,846 11.510
Jan. 13, 2092 18,798,406 10.365
Jan. 2, 2111 28,311,210 10.247
Jan. 22, 2112 20,138,416 11.409
Jan. 17, 2131 17,143,546 10.593
Jan. 13, 2150 18,690,772 10.353
Jan. 11, 2169 20,182,932 10.284
Jan. 10, 2188 21,613,801 10.252
Jan. 24, 2189 28,698,849 12.782

Images and Observations

Aten's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Dec. 17, 1955. It was last officially observed on Feb. 6, 2015. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 818 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 Aten:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2455926.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 0.966789831632 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.182717134091
  • Inclination: 18.9336868108°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 108.600376432°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 148.035405597°
  • Mean Anomaly: 172.267762763°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 1.10000 km
  • Magnitude: 16.80
  • Albedo: 0.26
  • Spectral type (Tholen): S
  • Spectral type (SMASS): Sr

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 347 days (0.95 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 30.29 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.14 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.79 AU
  • Rotation Period: 40.77 days
  • Approx. Composition: magnesium silicate and iron silicate.

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Aten 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.