Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Aten-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building (0.41 km diameter)
  • Will pass within 25,306,343 km of Earth in 2021
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

66400 (1999 LT7) is a very small asteroid whose orbit could bring it in close proximity to Earth. NASA JPL has classified 1999 LT7 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.

1999 LT7 orbits the sun every 289 days (0.79 years), coming as close as 0.37 AU and reaching as far as 1.35 AU from the sun. 1999 LT7 is about 0.4 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 90% of asteroids but tiny compared to large asteroids, comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building.

Close Approaches

1999 LT7'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.

1999 LT7 has 29 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
April 11, 2021 25,306,343 13.683
July 2, 2022 11,787,902 18.081
April 11, 2036 23,929,195 18.721
June 30, 2037 20,465,144 13.571
June 30, 2041 17,818,393 19.629
April 11, 2055 22,171,082 17.919
July 1, 2056 17,731,864 13.981
June 29, 2060 20,398,280 20.224
April 11, 2074 21,533,099 17.546
July 2, 2075 16,271,588 14.232
June 30, 2079 22,375,174 20.667
April 10, 2093 20,543,757 16.520
July 3, 2094 12,377,021 15.045
June 28, 2098 29,026,952 22.150
April 11, 2112 23,213,469 14.245
July 3, 2113 10,108,031 17.419
April 12, 2127 20,845,041 17.090
July 3, 2128 13,456,960 14.778
April 14, 2142 27,228,797 19.921
July 1, 2143 23,731,421 13.186
April 15, 2146 29,204,872 12.956
July 2, 2147 18,521,764 19.740
April 12, 2161 22,304,553 14.557
July 4, 2162 9,673,431 17.133
April 12, 2176 20,906,829 17.222
July 4, 2177 14,229,843 14.632
June 29, 2181 28,551,376 22.018
April 13, 2195 22,720,075 14.399
July 4, 2196 9,798,280 17.119

Images and Observations

1999 LT7's orbit is determined by observations dating back to April 21, 1987. It was last officially observed on June 7, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 492 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 1999 LT7:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459396.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 0.8554 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.5724
  • Inclination: 9.07°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 79.83°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 341.36°
  • Mean Anomaly: 187.39°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 0.41100 km
  • Magnitude: 19.28
  • Albedo: 0.182

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 289 days (0.79 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 32.20 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.35 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.37 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 66400 (1999 LT7) 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 below comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of 1999 LT7 to create an approximate landscape rendering with New York City in the background. This approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.