Key Facts


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.

No 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.

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

Images and Observations

1998 TU3's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Dec. 4, 1982. It was last officially observed on Oct. 3, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 1,472 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:



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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: 14.5
  • 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.