Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Aten-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building (0.43 km diameter)
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

33342 (1998 WT24) is a very small asteroid whose orbit could bring it in close proximity to Earth. NASA JPL has classified 1998 WT24 as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" due to its predicted close pass(es) with Earth.

1998 WT24 orbits the sun every 223 days (0.61 years), coming as close as 0.42 AU and reaching as far as 1.02 AU from the sun. 1998 WT24 is about 0.4 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 90% of asteroids but tiny compared to large asteroids, comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building.

The rotation of 1998 WT24 has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 3.70 hours.

No Close Approaches

1998 WT24's orbit is 0.01 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is an 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

1998 WT24's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Nov. 24, 1998. It was last officially observed on Dec. 12, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 1,801 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 1998 WT24:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459396.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 0.7188 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.4176
  • Inclination: 7.37°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 81.68°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 167.54°
  • Mean Anomaly: 240.1°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 0.43200 km
  • Magnitude: 17.9
  • Albedo: 0.654

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 223 days (0.61 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 35.07 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.02 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.42 AU
  • Rotation Period: 3.70 hours

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 33342 (1998 WT24) 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 below comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of 1998 WT24 to create an approximate landscape rendering with New York City in the background. This approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.