Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Aten-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building (0.37 km diameter)
  • Will pass within 21,240,762 km of Earth in 2027
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

242191 (2003 NZ6) is a very small asteroid whose orbit could bring it in close proximity to Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2003 NZ6 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.

2003 NZ6 orbits the sun every 258 days (0.71 years), coming as close as 0.40 AU and reaching as far as 1.18 AU from the sun. 2003 NZ6 is about 0.4 kilometers in diameter, making it small in absolute terms, but larger than 90% of asteroids, comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building.

The rotation of 2003 NZ6 has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 13.53 days.

Close Approaches

2003 NZ6's orbit is 0.07 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.

2003 NZ6 has 17 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
July 17, 2027 21,240,762 12.519
July 12, 2032 27,391,044 20.055
July 14, 2044 17,330,955 17.905
July 16, 2056 10,656,193 16.076
July 18, 2068 10,603,486 14.616
July 17, 2080 18,186,213 12.962
July 14, 2092 27,574,672 11.843
July 14, 2097 19,612,807 18.417
July 18, 2109 11,441,204 16.431
July 19, 2121 9,971,745 14.831
July 19, 2133 17,135,315 13.106
July 16, 2145 26,680,777 11.939
July 16, 2150 20,376,955 18.604
July 18, 2162 11,264,393 16.402
July 19, 2174 10,122,131 14.681
July 19, 2186 18,282,921 12.917
July 15, 2198 27,572,775 11.847

Images and Observations

2003 NZ6's orbit is determined by observations dating back to July 9, 2003. It was last officially observed on July 1, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 506 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 2003 NZ6:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 0.7934 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.4923
  • Inclination: 18.24°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 124.6°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 311.62°
  • Mean Anomaly: 222.59°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 0.37000 km
  • Magnitude: 19.0
  • Albedo: 0.334

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 258 days (0.71 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 33.46 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.18 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.40 AU
  • Rotation Period: 13.53 hours

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 242191 (2003 NZ6) 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 2003 NZ6 to create an approximate landscape rendering. The approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.