Key Facts

Overview

508861 (2002 RN38) is a mid-sized asteroid whose orbit approaches the orbit of Earth but does not cross it. NASA JPL has classified 2002 RN38 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.

2002 RN38 orbits the sun every 2,720 days (7.45 years), coming as close as 1.25 AU and reaching as far as 6.38 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2002 RN38 is probably between 0.821 to 1.837 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge.

No Close Approaches

2002 RN38's orbit is 0.27 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is a 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

2002 RN38's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Aug. 18, 2002. It was last officially observed on March 13, 2018. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 216 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 2002 RN38:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459800.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 3.815 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.6736
  • Inclination: 4.16°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 296.11°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 118.66°
  • Mean Anomaly: 235.13°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~1.060 km
  • Magnitude: 17.55

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 2,720 days (7.45 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 15.26 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 6.38 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.25 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 508861 (2002 RN38) 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 2002 RN38 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.