Apollo asteroid

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Location of the Apollo asteroids compared to the orbits of the terrestrial planets of the Solar System
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Mars (M)

Venus (V)

Mercury (H)

Apollo asteroids

Earth (E) Minor Planets - Apollo.svg
Location of the Apollo asteroids compared to the orbits of the terrestrial planets of the Solar System
   Mars  (M)
   Venus  (V)
   Mercury  (H)
  Apollo asteroids
   Earth  (E)

The Apollo asteroids are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after 1862 Apollo, discovered by German astronomer Karl Reinmuth in the 1930s. They are Earth-crossing asteroids that have an orbital semi-major axis greater than that of the Earth (a > 1 AU) but perihelion distances less than the Earth's aphelion distance (q < 1.017 AU). [1] [2]


As of December 2018 the number of known Apollo asteroids is 10,485, making the class the largest group of near-Earth objects (cf. the Aten, Amor and Atira asteroids), [3] of which 1,409 are numbered (asteroids are not numbered until they have been observed at two or more oppositions), and 1,648 are identified as potentially hazardous asteroids. [4] [5]

The closer their semi-major axis is to Earth's, the less eccentricity is needed for the orbits to cross. The February 15, 2013 Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over the city of Chelyabinsk in the southern Urals region of Russia, injuring an estimated 1,500 people with flying glass from broken windows, was an Apollo-class asteroid. [6] [7]


The largest known Apollo asteroid is 1866 Sisyphus, with a diameter of about 8.5 km. Examples of known Apollo asteroids include:

Designation YearDiscoverer/First observed(A)Ref
2019 SU3 2019 ATLAS-HKO MPC
2016 WF9 2016 NEOWISE MPC
2014 JO25 2014 CSS MPC
2013 FW13 2013CSS MPC
2013 RH74 2013CSS MPC
2011 MD 2011 LINEAR MPC (B)
2011 EO40 2011CSS–Mount Lemmon Survey MPC
2010 AL30 2010LINEAR MPC
(529366) 2009 WM1 2009CSS MPC
2009 DD45 2009Siding Spring Observatory, Australia MPC
(386454) 2008 XM 2008LINEAR List
2008 TC3 2008CSS MPC
2008 FF5 2008CSS–Mount Lemmon Survey MPC
2007 VK184 2007 CSS MPC
2007 TU24 2007CSS MPC
2007 WD5 2007CSS MPC
2007 OX 2007CSS–Mount Lemmon Survey MPC
(277810) 2006 FV35 2006 Spacewatch List
(394130) 2006 HY51 2006LINEAR List
(292220) 2006 SU49 2006Spacewatch List
(308635) 2005 YU55 2005R. S. McMillan, Steward Observatory, Kitt Peak, USA List
2005 WY55 2005 Mount Lemmon Survey MPC
2005 HC4 2005 LONEOS MPC
2004 XP14 2004LINEAR MPC
(374158) 2004 UL 2004LINEAR List
(357439) 2004 BL86 2004LINEAR List
(444004) 2004 AS1 2004LINEAR List
2003 RW11 2003 James Whitney Young MPC
2003 BV35 2003James Whitney Young MPC
(89958) 2002 LY45 2002LINEAR List
(179806) 2002 TD66 2002LINEAR List
54509 YORP 2000 LINEAR List
162173 Ryugu 1999 LINEAR List
(137108) 1999 AN10 1999 LINEAR List
101955 Bennu 1999LINEAR (Bennu is the target of the OSIRIS-REx mission) List
1998 KY26 1998Spacewatch MPC
(433953) 1997 XR2 1997 LINEAR List
65803 Didymos 1996 Spacewatch List
69230 Hermes 1937 Karl Reinmuth List
(53319) 1999 JM8 1999LINEAR List
(52760) 1998 ML14 1998LINEAR List
(35396) 1997 XF11 1997Spacewatch List
25143 Itokawa 1998LINEAR List
(136617) 1994 CC 1994 Spacewatch List
(175706) 1996 FG3 1996R. H. McNaught, Siding Spring Observatory, Australia List
6489 Golevka 1991 Eleanor F. Helin List
4769 Castalia 1989Eleanor F. Helin List
4660 Nereus 1982Eleanor F. Helin List
4581 Asclepius 1989 Henry E. Holt, Norman G. Thomas List
4486 Mithra 1987 Eric Elst, Vladimir Shkodrov List
14827 Hypnos 1986 Carolyn S. Shoemaker, Eugene Merle Shoemaker List
4197 Morpheus 1982 Eleanor F. Helin, Eugene Merle Shoemaker List
4183 Cuno 1959 Cuno Hoffmeister List
4179 Toutatis 1989 Christian Pollas List
4015 Wilson–Harrington  1979 Eleanor F. Helin List
3200 Phaethon 1983 Simon F. Green, John K.Davies / IRAS List
2063 Bacchus 1977 Charles T. Kowal List
1866 Sisyphus 1972 Paul Wild List
1620 Geographos 1951 Albert George Wilson, Rudolph Minkowski List
(29075) 1950 DA 1950 Carl A. Wirtanen List
1566 Icarus 1949 Walter Baade List
1685 Toro 1948 Carl A. Wirtanen List
2101 Adonis 1936 Eugène Joseph Delporte List
1862 Apollo 1932 Karl Reinmuth List
A discoverer is determined by the MPC when the object is numbered. For unnumbered bodies, the table gives the "first observer".
LINEAR: Lincoln Near-Earth Asteroid Research
CSS : Catalina Sky Survey
Spacewatch, on Kitt Peak, near Tucson, Arizona [8]


2011 MD is classified as Amor, not Apollo asteroid by the MPC

See also

Related Research Articles

Near-Earth object Small Solar System body whose orbit brings it close to the Earth

A near-Earth object (NEO) is any small Solar System body whose orbit brings it into proximity with Earth. By convention, a Solar System body is a NEO if its closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) is less than 1.3 astronomical units (AU). If a NEO's orbit crosses the Earth's, and the object is larger than 140 meters (460 ft) across, it is considered a potentially hazardous object (PHO). Most known PHOs and NEOs are asteroids, but a small fraction are comets.

Aten asteroid Group of near-Earth asteroids

The Aten asteroids are a dynamical group of asteroids whose orbits bring them into proximity with Earth. By definition, Atens are Earth-crossing asteroids (a < 1.0 AU and Q > 0.983 AU). The group is named after 2062 Aten, the first of its kind, discovered on 7 January 1976 by American astronomer Eleanor Helin at Palomar Observatory. As of 2020, 1841 Atens have been discovered, of which 13 are named. Many Atens are classified as potentially hazardous asteroids.

Amor asteroid Group of near-Earth asteroids

The Amor asteroids are a group of near-Earth asteroids named after the archetype object 1221 Amor. The orbital perihelion of these objects is close to, but greater than, the orbital aphelion of Earth, with most Amors crossing the orbit of Mars. The Amor asteroid 433 Eros was the first asteroid to be orbited and landed upon by a robotic space probe.

Eleanor F. Helin American astronomer

Eleanor Francis "Glo" Helin was an American astronomer. She was principal investigator of the Near-Earth Asteroid Tracking (NEAT) program of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

2062 Aten

2062 Aten, provisional designation 1976 AA, is a stony sub-kilometer asteroid and namesake of the Aten asteroids, a subgroup of near-Earth objects. The asteroid was named after Aten from Egyptian mythology.

2010 RF12 is a very small asteroid, classified as near-Earth object of the Apollo group, that passed between Earth and the Moon on 8 September 2010, at 21:12 UTC, approaching Earth within 79,000 kilometres (49,000 mi) above Antarctica. It is listed on the Sentry Risk Table as the asteroid with the greatest known probability (5%) of impacting Earth. On 5 September 2096 the asteroid will approach the Earth and the line of variation (LOV) passes through where the Earth will be. The asteroid was discovered by the Mount Lemmon Survey near Tucson, Arizona on 5 September 2010 along with 2010 RX30.

<span class="nowrap">2011 CQ<sub>1</sub></span> 2nd closest non-impacting Earth approach

2011 CQ1 is a meteoroid discovered on 4 February 2011 by Richard A. Kowalski, at the Catalina Sky Survey. On the same day the meteoroid passed within 0.85 Earth radii (5,480 kilometers (3,410 mi)) of Earth's surface, and was perturbed from the Apollo class to the Aten class of near-Earth objects. With a relative velocity of only 9.7 km/s, had the asteroid passed less than 0.5 Earth radii from Earth's surface, it would have fallen as a brilliant fireball. The meteoroid is between 80 centimeters (31 in) and 2.6 meters (100 in) wide. The meteoroid was removed from the Sentry Risk Table on 5 February 2011.

367943 Duende Near-Earth object

367943 Duende, provisional designation 2012 DA14, is a micro-asteroid and a near-Earth object of the Aten and Atira group, approximately 30 meters (98 ft) in diameter. It was discovered by astronomers of the Astronomical Observatory of Mallorca at its robotic La Sagra Observatory in 2012, and named for the duende, a goblin-like creature from Iberian and Filipino mythology and folklore. Duende is likely an uncommon L-type asteroid and significantly elongated. For an asteroid of its size, it has a relatively long rotation period of 9.485 hours.

Chelyabinsk meteor Near-Earth asteroid that fell over Russia in 2013

The Chelyabinsk meteor was a superbolide that entered Earth's atmosphere over the southern Ural region in Russia on 15 February 2013 at about 09:20 YEKT. It was caused by an approximately 20 m (66 ft) near-Earth asteroid that entered the atmosphere at a shallow 18.3 ± 0.4 degree angle with a speed relative to Earth of 19.16 ± 0.15 kilometres per second. The light from the meteor was briefly brighter than the Sun, visible up to 100 km (62 mi) away. It was observed over a wide area of the region and in neighbouring republics. Some eyewitnesses also felt intense heat from the fireball.

Chelyabinsk meteorite Remains of the Chelyabinsk meteor

The Chelyabinsk meteorite is the fragmented remains of the large Chelyabinsk meteor of 15 February 2013 which reached the ground after the meteor's passage through the atmosphere. The descent of the meteor, visible as a brilliant superbolide in the morning sky, caused a series of shock waves that shattered windows, damaged approximately 7,200 buildings and left 1,500 people injured. The resulting fragments were scattered over a wide area.

2006 JY26 is a near-Earth object that is also horseshoe companion to the Earth like 3753 Cruithne.

2011 EO40 is an asteroid, classified as near-Earth object and potentially hazardous asteroid of the Apollo group. It is a possible candidate for the parent body of the Chelyabinsk superbolide.

2014 RC

2014 RC is a sub-kilometer near-Earth object and Apollo asteroid. The exceptionally fast rotator passed within 0.000267 AU (39,900 km; 24,800 mi) (0.1 lunar distances) of Earth on 7 September 2014. The asteroid is approximately the diameter of the Chelyabinsk meteor, and passed almost as close to Earth as 367943 Duende (2012 DA14) did in 2013.

2015 SO2 (also written 2015 SO2) is an Aten asteroid that is a temporary horseshoe companion to the Earth, the ninth known Earth horseshoe librator. Prior to its most recent close encounter with our planet (2015 September 30) it was an Apollo asteroid.

2017 DR109, is a micro-asteroid, classified as near-Earth object of the Apollo group and Aten group, respectively. It is currently trapped in a 1:1 mean motion resonance with the Earth of the horseshoe type. The object was first observed on 27 February 2017, by astronomers of the Catalina Sky Survey conducted at Mount Lemmon Observatory, Arizona, United States.

<span class="nowrap">2017 VL<sub>2</sub></span>

2017 VL2 is a micro-asteroid, classified as a near-Earth object of the Apollo group. It was first observed by ATLAS at Mauna Loa Observatory on 10 November 2017, a day after it passed inside the orbit of Earth.

<span class="nowrap">2017 OO<sub>1</sub></span>

2017 OO1 is a small asteroid, classified as near-Earth object of the Aten group, approximately 35–76 meters (115–249 feet) in diameter. It was first observed on 23 July 2017, by the robotic ATLAS survey at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii, two days after the object had approached Earth at 0.33 lunar distances on 21 July 2017.

2018 VP1 is an Apollo near-Earth asteroid roughly 2 meters (7 feet) in diameter. The asteroid had a 0.41% chance (1 in 240) of impacting Earth on 2 November 2020 01:12 UT. It was discovered on 3 November 2018 when it was about 0.003 AU (450,000 km; 280,000 mi) from Earth and had a solar elongation of 165 degrees. The asteroid has a short 12.9 day observation arc. It was last observed on 16 November 2018 by the European Southern Observatory Very Large Telescope at apparent magnitude 26 pushing the telescope close to the limiting magnitude.


  1. "Near-Earth Object Groups". JPL – NASA. Archived from the original on 2 February 2002. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  2. Weisstein, Eric. "Apollo Asteroid". Wolfram Research. Retrieved 27 February 2013.
  3. "NEO Discovery Statistics". Archived from the original on 13 May 2004. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  4. "JPL Small-Body Database Search Engine". JPL/NASA. 2018-12-04. Retrieved 2018-12-04.
  5. "JPL Small-Body Database Search Engine: PHAs and orbital class (APO)". JPL Solar System Dynamics. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  6. Cantor, Matt (26 February 2013). "Scientists figure out Russia meteor's origin". USA Today. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  7. Jacob Aron (26 February 2013). "Russian meteor traced to Apollo asteroid family". New Scientist. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  8. The Spacewatch Project, Arizona Board of Regents, 2010