Key Facts

Overview

Hawking is a mid-sized asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter in the main portion of the asteroid belt. NASA JPL has not classified Hawking as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Hawking orbits the sun every 1,230 days (3.37 years), coming as close as 2.09 AU and reaching as far as 2.42 AU from the sun. Hawking is about 2.0 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to Mount Everest.

No Close Approaches

Hawking's orbit is 1.10 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

Hawking's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Oct. 27, 1978. It was last officially observed on Feb. 4, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 1,248 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 Hawking:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.252 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.0727
  • Inclination: 6.88°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 22.3°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 27.99°
  • Mean Anomaly: 88.38°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 2.01300 km
  • Magnitude: 15.4
  • Albedo: 0.251

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,230 days (3.37 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 19.92 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.42 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 2.09 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Hawking 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.