Key Facts


Comet 311P/PANSTARRS is an object whose orbit brings it closer to the sun than Jupiter. NASA JPL has not classified 311P/PANSTARRS as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

311P/PANSTARRS orbits the sun every 1,180 days (3.23 years), coming as close as 1.94 AU and reaching as far as 2.44 AU from the sun.

No Close Approaches

311P/PANSTARRS's orbit is 0.95 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is a very 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

311P/PANSTARRS's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Jan. 17, 2005. It was last officially observed on Jan. 18, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 208 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 311P/PANSTARRS:



   or view a random object

Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2456894.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.189 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.1156
  • Inclination: 4.97°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 279.29°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 144.29°
  • Mean Anomaly: 39.87°

Physical Characteristics

  • Magnitude: 18.8

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,180 days (3.23 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 20.18 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.44 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.94 AU

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 311P/PANSTARRS 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.