Key Facts

Overview

Sita is a large asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter in the main portion of the asteroid belt. NASA JPL has not classified Sita as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Sita orbits the sun every 1,170 days (3.20 years), coming as close as 1.88 AU and reaching as far as 2.47 AU from the sun. Sita is about 11.1 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to the city of Boston.

The rotation of Sita has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 129.51 hours.

Sita's spectral type None (Tholen) / Sa (SMASSII) indicates that it is likely to contain and .

No Close Approaches

Sita's orbit is 0.88 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is a very wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

Orbital simulations conducted by NASA JPL's CNEOS do not show any close approaches to Earth.

Images and Observations

Sita's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Jan. 9, 1885. It was last officially observed on Oct. 4, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 3,659 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 Sita:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.174 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.1375
  • Inclination: 2.85°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 208.95°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 166.34°
  • Mean Anomaly: 300.81°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 11.07700 km
  • Magnitude: 12.05
  • Albedo: 0.256
  • Spectral type (SMASS): Sa

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,170 days (3.20 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 20.21 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.47 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.88 AU
  • Rotation Period: 129.51 hours
  • Approx. Composition: and .

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Sita 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.