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Encyclopedia > Asteroids III

ASTEROIDS : ATEN, APPOLLO, AMOR

(NEAR-EARTH ASTEROIDS)



Credit: S.J. Ostro/JPL/NASA
Image (1620) Geographos performed by radar observation (size 5km x 2km)


Asteroid families "Aten, Apollo, Amor" have orbits that cross that of the Earth. They present a danger of a collision. However, such a collision is highly unlikely: the last catastrophic collision was more than 65 millions years and none is planned in the near future. Only small and often unknown objects can strike the Earth as 2008 TC3 which fell in Sudan on Oct. 7, 2008. This happens regularly, causing the "shooting stars." Eros is the largest known NEO (Near Earth Object), and was observed by the NEAR space probe in the years 2000 and 2001.



The asteroid 3753 Cruithne is very special: it is a companion of the Earth on its orbit. Its movement oscillates on this orbit alternately toward and away from Earth. The asteroid Apophis is one of those which uses to approach very close to the Earth (about 30 000km from the surface in 2029). The asteroid 2002 VE68 could also be a quasi-satellite of Venus.

Number Name Size in km Distance from Sun in AU (*) Inclination on the ecliptic Year of discovery
family "ATEN" (1393 known on December 10, 2019, of which 243 are numbered)
2062 Aten 2 0.79/1.14  19°  1976 
2100 Ra-Shalom 3 0.47/1.19  16°  1978
2340 Hathor 0.6 0.46/1.22  6°  1976
3362 Khufu 1 0.53/1.45  10°  1984
3554 Amun 3.5 0.70/1.25  23°  1986
3753 Cruithne 4 0.48/1.51  20°  1986
5381 Sekhmet 0.67/1.23  49°  1991
   ...        
- 2000 AZ93 0.3  0.48/1.02  9°  2000
- 2002 VE68 0.4  0.43/1.02  9°  2002
- Apophis 0.25 0.75/1.10  3°  2004
- 2005 YV128 0.2 0.45/1.39  14°  2005
   
family "APOLLO" (10835 known on December 10, 2019, of which 1408 are numbered)
1566 Icarus 1.4 0.19/1.97  23°  1949 
1620 Geographos 5 x 2 0.83/1.66  13°  1951
1685 Toro 4.5 0.77/1.96  9°  1948
1862 Apollo 1.4 0.65/2.29  6°  1932
   ...         
2101 Adonis 0.75 0.44/3.31  1°  1936
   ...
4179 Toutatis 4 0.92/4.10  0°  1989
   ...        
- 2000 AH205 0.15 0.68/1.61  3°  2000
207398 2006 AS2 0.24 0.75/3.46  3°  2006
- 2008 TC3 0.003 0.91/1.63  2°  2008
   
family "AMOR" (9093 known on December 10, 2019, of which 1264 are numbered)
433 Eros 14 x 40 1.13/1.78  11°   1898 
719 Albert 3 1.19/3.98  11°  1911
887 Alinda 7 1.08/3.88  9°  1918
1036 Ganymed 55 1.23/4.09  27°  1924
1221 Amor 1 1.08/2.75  12°  1932
1580 Betulia 5.5 1.12/3.27  52°  1950
   ...  
- 2000 AG205 0.45 1.10/3.49  18°  2000
- 2006 AV2 0.24 1.26/3.56  6°  2006
(*) : 1 AU (astronomical unit) = 149 597 870.700 km