Key Facts

Overview

C/2016 X1 (Lemmon) is a large comet whose orbit is approximately between Jupiter and Neptune. NASA JPL has not classified Lemmon as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Lemmon orbits the sun every 37,100,000 days (101,574.26 years), coming as close as 7.62 AU and reaching as far as 4344.38 AU from the sun. Its orbit is highly elliptical. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, Lemmon is probably between 2658.000 to 5943.469 kilometers in diameter, making it the largest asteroid/dwarf planet, very roughly comparable in size to the U.S. state of Alaska.

No Close Approaches

Lemmon's orbit is 6.64 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

Lemmon's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Nov. 26, 2016. It was last officially observed on Dec. 27, 2019. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 242 observations used to determine its orbit.

Accessibility and Exploration

This comet is not considered a viable target for human exploration by the NHATS study.

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458295.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2176.0 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.9965
  • Inclination: 26.45°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 256.42°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 224.57°
  • Mean Anomaly: 360.0°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~3431.463 km
  • Magnitude: 6.7

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 37,100,000 days (101,574.26 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 0.64 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 4344.38 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 7.62 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of C/2016 X1 (Lemmon) 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.