Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Jupiter-family Comet
  • Comparable in size to the island of Manhattan (4.50 km diameter)
  • Will pass within 26,202,146 km of Earth in 2048
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

8P/Tuttle is a small comet whose orbit features a relatively short period, low inclination, and is controlled by Jupiter's gravitational effects. NASA JPL has classified 8P/Tuttle 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.

8P/Tuttle orbits the sun every 4,970 days (13.61 years), coming as close as 1.03 AU and reaching as far as 10.37 AU from the sun. Its orbit is highly elliptical. 8P/Tuttle is about 4.5 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than most asteroids, comparable in size to the island of Manhattan.

Close Approaches

8P/Tuttle's orbit is 0.10 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is an wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

8P/Tuttle has 2 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Dec. 28, 2048 26,202,146 31.964
Dec. 25, 2130 14,370,012 32.617

Images and Observations

8P/Tuttle's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Jan. 7, 1967. It was last officially observed on June 6, 2008. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 1,555 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 8P/Tuttle:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2454374.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 5.69986207088 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.819799747024
  • Inclination: 54.9831848446°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 270.341652005°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 207.509245973°
  • Mean Anomaly: 351.451624529°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 4.50000 km
  • Magnitude: 9.8

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 4,970 days (13.61 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 12.48 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 10.37 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.03 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 8P/Tuttle 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.