Key Facts

Overview

87P/Bus is a small comet whose orbit brings it closer to the sun than Jupiter. NASA JPL has not classified 87P/Bus as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

87P/Bus orbits the sun every 2,370 days (6.49 years), coming as close as 2.16 AU and reaching as far as 4.80 AU from the sun. 87P/Bus is about 0.6 kilometers in diameter, making it small in absolute terms, but larger than ~97% of asteroids, comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge.

No Close Approaches

87P/Bus's orbit is 1.16 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

87P/Bus's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Nov. 13, 1999. It was last officially observed on Feb. 3, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 266 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 87P/Bus:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2455061.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 3.479 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.3787
  • Inclination: 2.59°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 181.97°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 23.99°
  • Mean Anomaly: 117.42°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 0.56000 km
  • Magnitude: 14.6

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 2,370 days (6.49 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 15.97 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 4.80 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 2.16 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 87P/Bus 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.