Key Facts

Overview

253515 (2003 SO159) is a mid-sized asteroid that orbits between Mars and Jupiter in the outer reaches of the main asteroid belt. NASA JPL has not classified 2003 SO159 as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

2003 SO159 orbits the sun every 2,190 days (6.00 years), coming as close as 2.31 AU and reaching as far as 4.28 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2003 SO159 is probably between 1.926 to 4.306 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to Mount Everest.

No Close Approaches

2003 SO159's orbit is 1.31 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is an extremely 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

2003 SO159's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Feb. 20, 2001. It was last officially observed on April 4, 2019. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 199 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 SO159:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 3.297 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.2979
  • Inclination: 11.28°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 249.74°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 38.06°
  • Mean Anomaly: 310.56°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~2.486 km
  • Magnitude: 15.7

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 2,190 days (6.00 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 16.38 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 4.28 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 2.31 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 253515 (2003 SO159) 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.