Key Facts

Overview

Nessus is a relatively small asteroid with an orbit between Jupiter and Neptune. NASA JPL has not classified Nessus as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Nessus orbits the sun every 44,670 days (122.30 years), coming as close as 11.85 AU and reaching as far as 37.42 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, Nessus is probably between 31.956 to 71.456 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than most asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to the U.S. state of Rhode Island.

No Close Approaches

Nessus's orbit is 10.85 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is an extremely 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

Nessus's orbit is determined by observations dating back to April 26, 1993. It was last officially observed on May 26, 2004. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 104 observations used to determine its orbit.

Accessibility and Exploration

This asteroid is not considered a viable target for human exploration by the NHATS study.

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 24.6385060016 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.518895098212
  • Inclination: 15.6630343502°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 31.1829844434°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 170.9573336°
  • Mean Anomaly: 80.0461213704°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~41.255 km
  • Magnitude: 9.6

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 44,670 days (122.30 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 6.00 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 37.42 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 11.85 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Nessus 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.