Key Facts


Sophocles is a large asteroid that orbits between Mars and Jupiter in the outer reaches of the main asteroid belt. NASA JPL has not classified Sophocles as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Sophocles orbits the sun every 2,140 days (5.86 years), coming as close as 2.74 AU and reaching as far as 3.75 AU from the sun. Sophocles is about 10.5 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to the city of Boston.

The rotation of Sophocles has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 4.78 hours.

No Close Approaches

Sophocles's orbit is 1.74 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

Sophocles's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Feb. 4, 1951. It was last officially observed on June 16, 2022. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 2,103 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 Sophocles:



   or view a random object

Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459800.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 3.249 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.1553
  • Inclination: 1.49°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 149.77°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 198.12°
  • Mean Anomaly: 219.68°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 10.53800 km
  • Magnitude: 13.6
  • Albedo: 0.083

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 2,140 days (5.86 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 16.52 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 3.75 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 2.74 AU
  • Rotation Period: 4.78 hours

Map Comparison

Click to load map

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Sophocles 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.