Tantalus is a mid-sized asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified Tantalus as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" due to its predicted close pass(es) with Earth.
Tantalus orbits the sun every 535 days (1.46 years), coming as close as 0.90 AU and reaching as far as 1.68 AU from the sun. Tantalus is about 1.6 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to Mount Everest.
The rotation of Tantalus has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 2.38 hours.
Tantalus's orbit is 0.04 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.
Tantalus has 8 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:
|Date||Distance from Earth (km)||Velocity (km/s)|
|Dec. 27, 2038||6,641,836||33.430|
|Dec. 23, 2060||14,830,519||34.283|
|Jan. 2, 2080||26,917,673||32.617|
|Dec. 29, 2101||10,539,130||33.161|
|Dec. 27, 2123||7,795,986||33.816|
|Dec. 22, 2145||23,621,806||34.942|
|Dec. 31, 2164||17,268,561||32.911|
|Dec. 28, 2186||5,529,367||33.613|
Tantalus's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Dec. 30, 1975. It was last officially observed on Sept. 22, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 1,387 observations used to determine its orbit.
The position of Tantalus 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.
The above comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of Tantalus 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.