Heracles is a mid-sized asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified Heracles 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.
Heracles orbits the sun every 907 days (2.48 years), coming as close as 0.42 AU and reaching as far as 3.25 AU from the sun. Its orbit is highly elliptical. Heracles is about 4.8 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to the San Francisco Bay.
The rotation of Heracles has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 2.71 hours.
Heracles's orbit is 0.06 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is an wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.
Heracles has 8 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:
|Date||Distance from Earth (km)||Velocity (km/s)|
|July 18, 2034||25,053,023||30.287|
|July 10, 2039||8,639,192||25.297|
|July 1, 2044||28,534,506||20.369|
|Dec. 4, 2093||19,135,857||24.862|
|July 11, 2116||7,647,827||25.066|
|Nov. 30, 2170||20,492,029||27.878|
|July 16, 2188||10,868,671||27.559|
|July 8, 2193||16,432,234||22.643|
Heracles's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Nov. 30, 1953. It was last officially observed on Sept. 4, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 3,134 observations used to determine its orbit.
The position of Heracles 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.
The above comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of Heracles 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.