Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building (0.42 km diameter)
  • Will pass within 23,451,048 km of Earth in 2025
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

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

Vishnu orbits the sun every 398 days (1.09 years), coming as close as 0.59 AU and reaching as far as 1.53 AU from the sun. Vishnu is about 0.4 kilometers in diameter, making it small in absolute terms, but larger than 90% of asteroids, comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building.

Vishnu's spectral type None (Tholen) / O (SMASSII) indicates that it is likely to contain platinum and nickel-iron.

Close Approaches

Vishnu'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.

Vishnu has 13 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
April 1, 2025 23,451,048 11.980
March 28, 2037 26,868,443 11.154
Sept. 7, 2070 28,324,941 9.747
Sept. 8, 2082 24,583,835 10.200
Sept. 8, 2094 25,692,350 10.069
Sept. 9, 2106 25,598,493 10.064
Sept. 9, 2118 27,740,242 9.828
Sept. 9, 2130 27,776,482 9.808
Sept. 9, 2142 27,450,493 9.854
March 26, 2169 29,700,203 10.724
April 1, 2181 25,237,122 11.569
Aug. 31, 2189 29,087,164 19.712
April 6, 2193 21,060,691 13.099

Images and Observations

Vishnu's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Aug. 2, 1986. It was last officially observed on June 27, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 488 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 Vishnu:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.06 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.4441
  • Inclination: 11.17°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 157.93°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 296.67°
  • Mean Anomaly: 254.56°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 0.42000 km
  • Magnitude: 18.4
  • Albedo: 0.52
  • Spectral type (SMASS): O

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 398 days (1.09 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 28.97 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.53 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.59 AU
  • Approx. Composition: platinum and nickel-iron.

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Vishnu 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 Vishnu to create an approximate landscape rendering. The approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.