Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to Mount Everest (1.65 km diameter)
  • Will pass within 13,201,540 km of Earth in 2019
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

68950 (2002 QF15) is a mid-sized asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2002 QF15 as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" due to its predicted close pass(es) with Earth.

2002 QF15 orbits the sun every 397 days (1.09 years), coming as close as 0.69 AU and reaching as far as 1.42 AU from the sun. 2002 QF15 is about 1.7 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to Mount Everest.

The rotation of 2002 QF15 has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 45.24 hours.

Close Approaches

2002 QF15's orbit is 0.01 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that its orbit is relatively close to Earth's orbit.

2002 QF15 has 26 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
May 20, 2019 13,201,540 17.834
Oct. 31, 2028 28,858,537 19.957
May 12, 2031 28,386,248 13.296
Nov. 16, 2041 19,926,978 15.743
May 18, 2044 7,525,740 17.044
Oct. 31, 2053 29,618,112 20.108
May 11, 2056 27,981,931 13.328
Nov. 19, 2066 23,081,623 15.344
May 20, 2069 13,762,930 17.930
Nov. 4, 2078 22,681,551 18.857
May 13, 2081 18,739,364 14.056
May 23, 2094 24,804,121 19.586
Nov. 9, 2103 17,124,680 17.573
May 16, 2106 9,391,713 14.982
May 25, 2119 28,343,300 20.129
Nov. 8, 2128 17,511,265 17.702
May 16, 2131 11,294,751 14.772
May 23, 2144 21,838,144 19.122
Nov. 5, 2153 22,348,256 18.795
May 13, 2156 20,601,392 13.889
Nov. 20, 2166 22,908,767 15.352
May 20, 2169 11,519,661 17.616
Nov. 1, 2178 29,518,312 20.104
May 13, 2181 29,147,714 13.260
Nov. 18, 2191 19,765,092 15.712
May 20, 2194 7,283,290 17.040

Images and Observations

2002 QF15's orbit is determined by observations dating back to July 23, 1955. It was last officially observed on Dec. 15, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 2,862 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 2002 QF15:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459200.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.057 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.3444
  • Inclination: 25.15°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 236.22°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 255.56°
  • Mean Anomaly: 224.88°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 1.65000 km
  • Magnitude: 16.4
  • Albedo: 0.178

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 397 days (1.09 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 28.97 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.42 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.69 AU
  • Rotation Period: 45.24 hours

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 68950 (2002 QF15) 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 2002 QF15 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.