Key Facts

Overview

Virginia is a large asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter in the main portion of the asteroid belt. NASA JPL has not classified Virginia as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Virginia orbits the sun every 1,580 days (4.33 years), coming as close as 1.89 AU and reaching as far as 3.41 AU from the sun. Virginia is about 84.1 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to the U.S. state of Delaware.

The rotation of Virginia has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 14.32 days.

Virginia's spectral type X (Tholen) / Ch (SMASSII) indicates that it is likely to contain nickel, iron, cobalt, water, nitrogen, and ammonia.

No Close Approaches

Virginia's orbit is 0.89 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is an very wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

Orbital simulations conducted by NASA JPL's CNEOS do not show any close approaches to Earth.

Images and Observations

Virginia's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Oct. 20, 1857. It was last officially observed on June 16, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 3,366 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 Virginia:

References

Search

   or view a random object

Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.649 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.2859
  • Inclination: 2.84°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 173.52°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 200.01°
  • Mean Anomaly: 250.02°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 84.07400 km
  • Magnitude: 9.2
  • Albedo: 0.050
  • Spectral type (Tholen): X
  • Spectral type (SMASS): Ch

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,580 days (4.33 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 18.24 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 3.41 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.89 AU
  • Rotation Period: 14.32 hours
  • Approx. Composition: nickel, iron, cobalt, water, nitrogen, and ammonia.

Map Comparison

Click to load map

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Virginia 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.