Key Facts

Overview

Beowulf is a small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified Beowulf as a "Near Earth Asteroid" due to its orbit's proximity to Earth, but it is not considered potentially hazardous because computer simulations have not indicated any imminent likelihood of future collision.

Beowulf orbits the sun every 618 days (1.69 years), coming as close as 0.62 AU and reaching as far as 2.22 AU from the sun. Beowulf is about 0.6 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than ~97% of asteroids but small compared to large asteroids, comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge.

No Close Approaches

Beowulf's orbit is 0.39 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

Beowulf's orbit is determined by observations dating back to May 1, 1992. It was last officially observed on Sept. 13, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 799 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 Beowulf:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459396.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.42 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.5663
  • Inclination: 23.67°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 165.33°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 178.95°
  • Mean Anomaly: 335.67°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 0.64300 km
  • Magnitude: 17.32
  • Albedo: 0.469

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 618 days (1.69 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 25.00 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.22 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.62 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Beowulf 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 Beowulf 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.