Key Facts

  • Classified as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. Pentagon (1.50 km diameter)
  • Will pass within 21,996,170 km of Earth in 2072
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

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

Dionysus orbits the sun every 1,191 days (3.26 years), coming as close as 1.01 AU and reaching as far as 3.39 AU from the sun. Dionysus is about 1.5 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than most asteroids, comparable in size to the U.S. Pentagon.

The rotation of Dionysus has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 2.71 days.

Dionysus's spectral type (Tholen) / Cb (SMASSII) indicates that it is likely to contain nickel, iron, cobalt, water, nitrogen, and ammonia.

Close Approaches

Dionysus's orbit is 0.02 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.

Dionysus has 4 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
May 29, 2072 21,996,170 14.504
June 18, 2085 4,188,382 11.042
June 23, 2147 7,027,988 10.684
July 22, 2196 24,910,645 10.817

Images and Observations

Dionysus's orbit is determined by observations dating back to May 27, 1984. It was last officially observed on Jan. 30, 2019. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 555 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 Dionysus:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.198616231 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.541543591895
  • Inclination: 13.5343891837°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 82.0873869074°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 204.252093344°
  • Mean Anomaly: 247.057737559°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 1.50000 km
  • Magnitude: 16.4
  • Albedo: 0.16
  • Spectral type (SMASS): Cb

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,191 days (3.26 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 20.09 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 3.39 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.01 AU
  • Rotation Period: 2.71 days
  • Approx. Composition: nickel, iron, cobalt, water, nitrogen, and ammonia.

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Dionysus 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.