Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. Pentagon (1.30 km diameter)
  • Will pass within 29,254,624 km of Earth in 2023
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

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.

Close Approaches

Xanthus's orbit is 0.17 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.

Xanthus has 13 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Oct. 21, 2023 29,254,624 10.843
May 22, 2038 27,928,150 10.375
Nov. 12, 2040 26,008,130 10.534
May 13, 2055 28,088,986 8.916
Dec. 1, 2057 28,748,699 11.266
Nov. 5, 2090 26,696,419 10.589
May 18, 2105 27,278,323 9.152
Nov. 27, 2107 27,297,503 10.856
Oct. 28, 2140 28,040,103 10.735
May 22, 2155 27,288,830 9.626
Nov. 21, 2157 26,468,116 10.599
May 12, 2172 29,121,954 8.844
Oct. 22, 2190 29,465,025 10.873

Images and Observations

Xanthus's orbit is determined by observations dating back to March 30, 1989. It was last officially observed on Sept. 12, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 962 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 Xanthus:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459396.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.042 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.2502
  • Inclination: 14.14°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 23.97°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 333.87°
  • Mean Anomaly: 318.68°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 1.30000 km
  • Magnitude: 17.16

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 388 days (1.06 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 29.22 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.30 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.78 AU
  • Rotation Period: 37.65 hours

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

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.

Size Rendering

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.