Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Amor-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. Pentagon
  • Will pass within 21,719,588 km of Earth in 2083
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

Pele is a small asteroid whose orbit approaches the orbit of Earth but does not cross it. NASA JPL has classified Pele 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.

Pele orbits the sun every 1,265 days (3.46 years), coming as close as 1.11 AU and reaching as far as 3.46 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, Pele is probably between 1.011 to 2.260 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than most asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to the U.S. Pentagon.

Close Approaches

Pele's orbit is 0.14 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.

Pele has 2 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Oct. 8, 2083 21,719,588 6.651
Oct. 7, 2194 22,969,273 7.343

Images and Observations

Pele's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Sept. 7, 1972. It was last officially observed on Feb. 12, 2018. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 251 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 Pele:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.28945211927 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.51304890268
  • Inclination: 8.74484307189°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 169.978596765°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 217.926953185°
  • Mean Anomaly: 147.295878964°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~1.305 km
  • Magnitude: 17.1

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,265 days (3.46 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 19.68 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 3.46 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.11 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Pele 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.