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 0.189 to 0.423 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a football field.

The rotation of Asclepius has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 8.01 hours.

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 24 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 10,542,999 12.771
Aug. 16, 2043 19,974,701 14.283
Aug. 24, 2044 13,336,548 8.490
March 30, 2050 28,395,978 6.492
March 24, 2051 1,837,550 11.049
Aug. 20, 2072 8,481,205 11.643
March 20, 2078 16,238,619 7.683
March 29, 2079 20,079,171 14.665
Aug. 14, 2098 25,764,478 15.537
Aug. 25, 2099 12,821,551 8.590
March 23, 2105 2,573,985 10.251
Aug. 18, 2127 16,713,307 13.610
Aug. 26, 2128 17,457,297 7.607
March 22, 2134 17,000,382 7.522
March 29, 2135 14,931,587 13.625
Aug. 16, 2157 20,663,360 14.451
Aug. 26, 2158 13,643,281 8.398
March 23, 2164 21,187,298 6.873
March 27, 2165 10,636,797 12.772
Aug. 21, 2187 8,752,559 11.752
Aug. 26, 2188 27,133,540 5.859
March 23, 2194 11,004,468 8.603
March 30, 2195 19,621,365 14.536

Images and Observations

Asclepius's orbit is determined by observations dating back to March 31, 1989. It was last officially observed on April 18, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 424 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: 2459800.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.023 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.357
  • Inclination: 4.92°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 180.21°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 255.36°
  • Mean Anomaly: 169.65°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.244 km
  • Magnitude: 20.74

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
  • Rotation Period: 8.01 hours

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 below comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of Asclepius to create an approximate landscape rendering with New York City in the background. This approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.