Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Jupiter-family Comet
  • Comparable in size to Mount Everest (2.60 km diameter)
  • Will pass within 11,205,370 km of Earth in 2146
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation


26P/Grigg-Skjellerup is a mid-sized comet whose orbit features a relatively short period, low inclination, and is controlled by Jupiter's gravitational effects. NASA JPL has classified 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup 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.

26P/Grigg-Skjellerup orbits the sun every 1,930 days (5.28 years), coming as close as 1.11 AU and reaching as far as 4.96 AU from the sun. 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup is about 2.6 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to Mount Everest.

Close Approaches

26P/Grigg-Skjellerup's orbit is 0.11 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is a wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

26P/Grigg-Skjellerup has 2 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
April 15, 2146 11,205,370 14.909
March 10, 2161 19,609,311 17.471

Images and Observations

26P/Grigg-Skjellerup's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Dec. 19, 2007. It was last officially observed on Dec. 15, 2022. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 430 observations used to determine its orbit.

Accessibility and Exploration

This comet 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 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup:



   or view a random object

Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2455440.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 3.038 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.6339
  • Inclination: 22.41°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 211.64°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 1.64°
  • Mean Anomaly: 165.88°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 2.60000 km
  • Magnitude: 16.8

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,930 days (5.28 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 17.12 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 4.96 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.11 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup 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 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup 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.