Xanthus is a mid-sized asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified Xanthus 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.
Xanthus orbits the sun every 388 days (1.06 years), coming as close as 0.78 AU and reaching as far as 1.30 AU from the sun. Xanthus is about 1.3 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to the U.S. Pentagon.
The rotation of Xanthus has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 37.65 hours.
Xanthus's orbit is 0.17 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.
Xanthus has 13 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:
|Date||Distance from Earth (km)||Velocity (km/s)|
|Oct. 21, 2023||29,254,631||10.843|
|May 22, 2038||27,928,148||10.375|
|Nov. 12, 2040||26,008,130||10.534|
|May 13, 2055||28,088,975||8.916|
|Dec. 1, 2057||28,748,677||11.266|
|Nov. 5, 2090||26,696,436||10.589|
|May 18, 2105||27,278,308||9.152|
|Nov. 27, 2107||27,297,475||10.856|
|Oct. 28, 2140||28,040,138||10.735|
|May 22, 2155||27,288,832||9.626|
|Nov. 21, 2157||26,468,098||10.599|
|May 12, 2172||29,121,924||8.844|
|Oct. 22, 2190||29,465,073||10.873|
Xanthus's orbit is determined by observations dating back to March 30, 1989. It was last officially observed on July 8, 2022. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 1,208 observations used to determine its orbit.
The position of Xanthus 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.
The above comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of Xanthus 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.