Hephaistos is a mid-sized asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified Hephaistos 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.
Hephaistos orbits the sun every 1,160 days (3.18 years), coming as close as 0.35 AU and reaching as far as 3.97 AU from the sun. Its orbit is highly elliptical. Hephaistos is about 5.7 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to the San Francisco Bay.
The rotation of Hephaistos has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 20.00 hours.
Hephaistos's orbit is 0.12 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.
Hephaistos has 7 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:
|Date||Distance from Earth (km)||Velocity (km/s)|
|Sept. 23, 2064||26,603,450||33.859|
|Jan. 21, 2074||29,574,380||31.827|
|Sept. 19, 2115||13,376,849||30.322|
|Jan. 24, 2125||25,352,494||30.488|
|Sept. 10, 2131||29,506,950||24.055|
|Sept. 23, 2166||17,689,599||32.232|
|Jan. 28, 2176||22,629,390||28.803|
Hephaistos's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Sept. 27, 1978. It was last officially observed on March 7, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 2,945 observations used to determine its orbit.
The position of Hephaistos 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 Hephaistos 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.