Key Facts

Overview

Pocahontas is a small asteroid whose orbit approaches the orbit of Earth but does not cross it. NASA JPL has classified Pocahontas 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.

Pocahontas orbits the sun every 832 days (2.28 years), coming as close as 1.22 AU and reaching as far as 2.24 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, Pocahontas is probably between 0.922 to 2.061 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than most asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to the U.S. Pentagon.

No Close Approaches

Pocahontas's orbit is 0.22 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

Pocahontas's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Sept. 24, 1987. It was last officially observed on April 21, 2018. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 506 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 Pocahontas:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.73052390157 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.296402306416
  • Inclination: 16.4042599544°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 198.124582518°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 173.957341676°
  • Mean Anomaly: 309.884771601°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~1.190 km
  • Magnitude: 17.3

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 832 days (2.28 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 22.64 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.24 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.22 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Pocahontas 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.