Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Aten-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to Mount Everest (2.86 km diameter)
  • Will pass within 11,104,939 km of Earth in 2019
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

66146 (1998 TU3) is a mid-sized asteroid whose orbit could bring it in close proximity to Earth. NASA JPL has classified 1998 TU3 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.

1998 TU3 orbits the sun every 255 days (0.70 years), coming as close as 0.41 AU and reaching as far as 1.17 AU from the sun. 1998 TU3 is about 2.9 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to Mount Everest.

The rotation of 1998 TU3 has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 2.38 hours.

Close Approaches

1998 TU3's orbit is 0.07 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.

1998 TU3 has 45 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Aug. 25, 2019 11,104,939 13.112
Nov. 5, 2024 13,290,911 11.530
Aug. 26, 2026 13,506,901 11.308
Nov. 7, 2031 12,402,030 13.452
Sept. 1, 2033 19,745,523 10.131
Nov. 6, 2038 17,707,251 15.465
Sept. 7, 2040 24,000,073 9.871
Nov. 5, 2045 21,048,151 16.404
Sept. 13, 2047 26,002,563 9.843
Nov. 4, 2052 25,523,452 17.521
Sept. 17, 2054 27,592,673 9.864
Nov. 4, 2059 29,356,429 18.464
Sept. 22, 2061 28,653,858 9.915
Sept. 27, 2068 29,340,857 9.964
Oct. 4, 2075 29,284,586 9.959
Oct. 13, 2082 28,040,490 9.899
Aug. 27, 2084 24,570,985 17.421
Oct. 20, 2089 25,558,940 9.833
Aug. 26, 2091 17,673,210 15.647
Oct. 29, 2096 20,912,305 9.994
Aug. 25, 2098 12,329,296 13.835
Nov. 5, 2103 16,730,890 10.575
Aug. 26, 2105 11,433,183 12.444
Nov. 8, 2110 12,318,938 11.983
Aug. 28, 2112 15,148,723 10.949
Nov. 8, 2117 12,793,206 13.764
Sept. 4, 2119 20,844,948 10.035
Nov. 6, 2124 21,153,918 16.439
Sept. 17, 2126 26,793,399 9.859
Sept. 28, 2133 29,171,748 9.951
Oct. 8, 2140 28,963,870 9.948
Aug. 30, 2142 28,723,100 18.396
Oct. 15, 2147 28,139,239 9.903
Aug. 29, 2149 26,476,015 17.859
Oct. 14, 2154 28,306,529 9.907
Aug. 29, 2156 27,089,899 18.006
Oct. 12, 2161 28,594,534 9.921
Aug. 30, 2163 28,572,523 18.369
Oct. 7, 2168 29,498,046 9.962
Oct. 1, 2175 29,642,122 9.947
Sept. 26, 2182 29,246,502 9.948
Nov. 6, 2187 28,988,489 18.403
Sept. 20, 2189 28,255,989 9.886
Nov. 7, 2194 21,604,888 16.613
Sept. 12, 2196 25,446,318 9.831

Images and Observations

1998 TU3's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Dec. 4, 1982. It was last officially observed on Sept. 24, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 1,493 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 1998 TU3:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459396.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 0.7874 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.4837
  • Inclination: 5.41°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 102.01°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 84.83°
  • Mean Anomaly: 332.74°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 2.86400 km
  • Magnitude: 14.49
  • Albedo: 0.224

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 255 days (0.70 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 33.59 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.17 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.41 AU
  • Rotation Period: 2.38 hours

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 66146 (1998 TU3) 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 1998 TU3 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.