Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a football field
  • Will pass within 2,793,339 km of Earth in 2020
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

388945 (2008 TZ3) is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2008 TZ3 as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" due to its predicted close pass(es) with Earth.

2008 TZ3 orbits the sun every 733 days (2.01 years), coming as close as 0.97 AU and reaching as far as 2.21 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2008 TZ3 is probably between 0.219 to 0.490 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a football field.

The rotation of 2008 TZ3 has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 39.15 hours.

Close Approaches

2008 TZ3's orbit is 0.02 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is a wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

2008 TZ3 has 18 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
May 10, 2020 2,793,339 8.776
May 15, 2022 5,741,729 8.216
May 25, 2024 11,207,087 7.664
June 12, 2026 16,794,694 7.485
July 2, 2028 20,373,970 7.679
July 22, 2030 23,432,453 8.722
Aug. 2, 2032 28,833,805 10.838
April 26, 2159 24,660,050 13.273
May 1, 2161 13,661,948 11.248
May 7, 2163 5,248,098 9.670
May 10, 2165 3,038,143 9.005
May 13, 2167 3,779,639 8.635
May 19, 2169 7,721,368 7.971
May 31, 2171 12,969,026 7.497
June 17, 2173 17,701,786 7.444
July 9, 2175 20,784,060 7.644
July 26, 2177 23,371,559 8.777
Aug. 7, 2179 28,424,172 10.892

Images and Observations

2008 TZ3's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Oct. 6, 2008. It was last officially observed on Sept. 1, 2022. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 1,537 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 2008 TZ3:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459800.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.592 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.3913
  • Inclination: 8.7°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 44.0°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 219.72°
  • Mean Anomaly: 29.13°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.283 km
  • Magnitude: 20.42

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 733 days (2.01 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 23.63 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.21 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.97 AU
  • Rotation Period: 39.15 hours

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 388945 (2008 TZ3) 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 2008 TZ3 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.