Key Facts

Overview

Damocles is a small asteroid with an orbit between Jupiter and Neptune. NASA JPL has not classified Damocles as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Damocles orbits the sun every 14,864 days (40.69 years), coming as close as 1.58 AU and reaching as far as 22.08 AU from the sun. Its orbit is highly elliptical. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, Damocles is probably between 5.82 to 13.00 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than most asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to the San Francisco Bay.

No Close Approaches

Damocles's orbit is 0.61 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

Damocles's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Feb. 18, 1991. It was last officially observed on Aug. 22, 1992. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 49 observations used to determine its orbit.

Accessibility and Exploration

This asteroid is not considered a viable target for human exploration by the NHATS study.

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 11.8308643387 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.866403176255
  • Inclination: 61.685501478°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 314.054161688°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 191.273239335°
  • Mean Anomaly: 250.92821976°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~7.51 km
  • Magnitude: 13.3

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 14,864 days (40.69 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 8.66 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 22.08 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.58 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Damocles 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.