Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Main-belt Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. state of Rhode Island (61.05 km diameter)
  • Not a Near Earth Object
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

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

Phocaea orbits the sun every 1,360 days (3.72 years), coming as close as 1.79 AU and reaching as far as 3.01 AU from the sun. Phocaea is about 61.1 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to the U.S. state of Rhode Island.

The rotation of Phocaea has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 9.93 days.

Phocaea's spectral type S (Tholen) / S (SMASSII) indicates that it is likely to contain magnesium silicate and iron silicate.

No Close Approaches

Phocaea's orbit is 0.92 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is an 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

Phocaea's orbit is determined by observations dating back to March 11, 1860. It was last officially observed on April 27, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 3,377 observations used to determine its orbit.

Scientists have been able to determine this object's shape.

View asteroid Phocaea in 3D.

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 Phocaea:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.4 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.2549
  • Inclination: 21.61°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 214.12°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 90.31°
  • Mean Anomaly: 278.88°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 61.05400 km
  • Magnitude: 7.8
  • Albedo: 0.350
  • Spectral type (Tholen): S
  • Spectral type (SMASS): S

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,360 days (3.72 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 19.20 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 3.01 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.79 AU
  • Rotation Period: 9.93 hours
  • Approx. Composition: magnesium silicate and iron silicate.

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Phocaea 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.