Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a football field
  • Will pass within 20,659,284 km of Earth in 2019
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

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

Asclepius orbits the sun every 378 days (1.03 years), coming as close as 0.66 AU and reaching as far as 1.39 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, Asclepius is probably between 0.193 to 0.431 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a football field.

Close Approaches

Asclepius's orbit is 0.00 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that its orbit is relatively close to Earth's orbit.

Asclepius has 23 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
March 22, 2019 20,659,284 6.952
March 25, 2020 10,542,995 12.771
Aug. 16, 2043 19,974,565 14.283
Aug. 24, 2044 13,336,677 8.490
March 30, 2050 28,395,820 6.492
March 24, 2051 1,837,720 11.049
Aug. 20, 2072 8,481,776 11.644
March 20, 2078 16,219,177 7.686
March 29, 2079 20,101,872 14.670
Aug. 14, 2098 25,711,642 15.526
Aug. 25, 2099 12,868,766 8.580
March 23, 2105 2,565,790 10.253
Aug. 18, 2127 16,566,616 13.580
Aug. 26, 2128 17,673,636 7.565
March 22, 2134 16,423,271 7.622
March 29, 2135 15,558,524 13.750
Aug. 16, 2157 21,064,487 14.534
Aug. 26, 2158 13,195,612 8.496
March 23, 2164 22,119,265 6.756
March 27, 2165 9,628,655 12.573
Aug. 22, 2187 8,180,874 11.572
March 23, 2194 11,157,169 8.571
March 30, 2195 19,163,854 14.441

Images and Observations

Asclepius's orbit is determined by observations dating back to March 31, 1989. It was last officially observed on May 21, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 414 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 Asclepius:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.023 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.3571
  • Inclination: 4.92°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 180.22°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 255.34°
  • Mean Anomaly: 127.28°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.249 km
  • Magnitude: 20.7

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 378 days (1.03 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 29.44 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.39 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.66 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

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