Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Amor-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge (0.94 km diameter)
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

68278 (2001 FC7) is a small asteroid whose orbit approaches the orbit of Earth but does not cross it. NASA JPL has classified 2001 FC7 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.

2001 FC7 orbits the sun every 628 days (1.72 years), coming as close as 1.27 AU and reaching as far as 1.60 AU from the sun. 2001 FC7 is about 0.9 kilometers in diameter, making it small in absolute terms, but larger than ~97% of asteroids, comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge.

The rotation of 2001 FC7 has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 4.23 days.

No Close Approaches

2001 FC7's orbit is 0.26 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

2001 FC7's orbit is determined by observations dating back to June 13, 1996. It was last officially observed on Jan. 29, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 829 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 2001 FC7:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.436 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.1146
  • Inclination: 2.62°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 99.11°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 234.46°
  • Mean Anomaly: 271.53°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 0.94200 km
  • Magnitude: 18.4
  • Albedo: 0.087

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 628 days (1.72 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 24.88 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.60 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.27 AU
  • Rotation Period: 4.23 days

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 68278 (2001 FC7) 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.