Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the island of Manhattan (4.00 km diameter)
  • Will pass within 16,200,467 km of Earth in 2039
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

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

Wilson-Harrington orbits the sun every 1,555 days (4.26 years), coming as close as 0.97 AU and reaching as far as 4.28 AU from the sun. Wilson-Harrington is about 4.0 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than most asteroids, comparable in size to the island of Manhattan.

The rotation of Wilson-Harrington has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 3.57 days.

Close Approaches

Wilson-Harrington's orbit is 0.04 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.

Wilson-Harrington has 4 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Oct. 31, 2039 16,200,467 12.130
Aug. 18, 2082 16,129,688 11.930
Oct. 30, 2155 14,313,853 11.154
Sept. 11, 2198 8,576,923 8.806

Images and Observations

Wilson-Harrington's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Nov. 19, 1949. It was last officially observed on March 1, 2019. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 980 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 Wilson-Harrington:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.62661145613 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.630863908761
  • Inclination: 2.79829297081°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 266.818677279°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 95.3882083366°
  • Mean Anomaly: 78.3658332314°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 4.00000 km
  • Magnitude: 15.99
  • Albedo: 0.05
  • Spectral type (Tholen): CF

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,555 days (4.26 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 18.38 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 4.28 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.97 AU
  • Rotation Period: 3.57 days

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Wilson-Harrington 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.