Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a football field (0.30 km diameter)
  • Will pass within 5,768,696 km of Earth in 2021
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

Orpheus is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified Orpheus as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" due to its predicted close pass(es) with Earth.

Orpheus orbits the sun every 486 days (1.33 years), coming as close as 0.82 AU and reaching as far as 1.60 AU from the sun. Orpheus is about 0.3 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, comparable in size to a football field.

The rotation of Orpheus has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 3.53 days.

Close Approaches

Orpheus'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.

Orpheus has 22 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Nov. 21, 2021 5,768,696 8.139
Nov. 19, 2025 5,673,476 9.077
Nov. 14, 2029 12,597,020 10.916
Nov. 10, 2033 24,814,162 13.501
April 26, 2083 17,855,354 12.139
April 21, 2087 7,712,605 10.093
April 18, 2091 3,160,591 9.087
April 21, 2095 7,927,983 10.135
April 26, 2099 18,050,634 12.178
Nov. 16, 2149 17,015,686 11.865
Nov. 21, 2153 7,250,090 9.582
Nov. 24, 2157 5,530,609 8.365
Nov. 29, 2161 9,555,043 7.039
Dec. 15, 2165 16,821,954 6.096
Jan. 7, 2170 22,385,087 6.948
Jan. 26, 2174 24,802,946 7.565
Feb. 12, 2178 24,803,975 7.605
March 2, 2182 22,634,206 7.127
March 20, 2186 18,392,942 6.425
April 7, 2190 11,856,033 6.557
April 15, 2194 5,733,228 7.641
April 16, 2198 3,908,525 8.081

Images and Observations

Orpheus's orbit is determined by observations dating back to April 24, 1982. It was last officially observed on May 18, 2018. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 870 observations used to determine its orbit.

Accessibility and Exploration

Orpheus can be reached with a journey of 362 days. This trajectory would require a delta-v of 9.135 km/s. To put this into perspective, the delta-v to launch a rocket to Low-Earth Orbit is 9.7 km/s. There are 17,332 potential trajectories and launch windows to this asteroid.

See more at the NHATS Mission Trajectories table for Orpheus.

Similar Objects

These objects have orbits that share similar characteristics to the orbit of Orpheus:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2455844.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.20966217905 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.322751828794
  • Inclination: 2.68506420815°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 189.530549545°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 301.695207335°
  • Mean Anomaly: 102.829901807°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 0.30000 km
  • Magnitude: 19.03
  • Albedo: 0.357

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 486 days (1.33 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 27.08 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.60 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.82 AU
  • Rotation Period: 3.53 days

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Orpheus 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.