Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building
  • Will pass within 7,095,579 km of Earth in 2051
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation


482488 (2012 SW20) is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2012 SW20 as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" due to its predicted close pass(es) with Earth.

2012 SW20 orbits the sun every 1,410 days (3.86 years), coming as close as 0.79 AU and reaching as far as 4.13 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2012 SW20 is probably between 0.295 to 0.661 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 90% of asteroids but tiny compared to large asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building.

Close Approaches

2012 SW20'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.

2012 SW20 has 4 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
April 29, 2051 7,095,579 15.436
June 1, 2107 23,535,334 10.885
Aug. 24, 2111 24,985,471 16.246
June 17, 2156 25,934,351 10.379

Images and Observations

2012 SW20's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Sept. 18, 2012. It was last officially observed on Oct. 27, 2016. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 293 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 2012 SW20:



   or view a random object

Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2460200.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.46 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.6786
  • Inclination: 10.16°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 209.59°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 62.35°
  • Mean Anomaly: 321.87°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.381 km
  • Magnitude: 19.77

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,410 days (3.86 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 18.98 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 4.13 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.79 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 482488 (2012 SW20) 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 2012 SW20 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.