Key Facts


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

Sagan orbits the sun every 1,190 days (3.26 years), coming as close as 2.04 AU and reaching as far as 2.35 AU from the sun. Sagan is about 6.6 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to the San Francisco Bay.

The rotation of Sagan has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 5.26 hours.

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

No Close Approaches

Sagan's orbit is 1.04 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

Sagan's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Feb. 3, 1959. It was last officially observed on Feb. 9, 2023. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 3,697 observations used to determine its orbit.

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

View asteroid Sagan 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 Sagan:



   or view a random object

Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2460200.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.195 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.0692
  • Inclination: 2.74°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 241.0°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 309.17°
  • Mean Anomaly: 264.97°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 6.55900 km
  • Magnitude: 13.29
  • Albedo: 0.259
  • Spectral type (SMASS): S

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,190 days (3.26 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 20.07 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.35 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 2.04 AU
  • Rotation Period: 5.26 hours
  • Approx. Composition: and .

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Sagan 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 Sagan 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.