(419624) 2010 SO16

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2010 SO16
Discovered by Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
Discovery date 17 September 2010
Orbital characteristics[1][2]
Epoch 13 January 2016 (JD 2457400.5)
Uncertainty parameter 0
Observation arc 1928 days (5.28 yr)
Aphelion 1.07791 AU (161.253 Gm)
Perihelion 0.92684 AU (138.653 Gm)
1.00237 AU (149.952 Gm)
Eccentricity 0.075351
1.00 yr (366.56 d)
0° 58m 55.596s / day
Inclination 14.522°
Earth MOID 0.0279159 AU (4.17616 Gm)
Jupiter MOID 3.90691 AU (584.465 Gm)
Jupiter Tisserand parameter 6.038
Physical characteristics
Dimensions 200–400 metres

(419624) 2010 SO16 is a near-Earth asteroid discovered by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer space telescope. The orbit was described by Christou Apostolos and David Asher at the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland.[1] The object has a magnitude of 20.7 and is several hundred meters in diameter.

2010 SO16 has a horseshoe orbit that allows it to stably share Earth's orbital neighborhood without colliding with it. It is one of a handful of known asteroids with an Earth-following orbit, a group that includes 3753 Cruithne, and the only known asteroid in an horseshoe orbit with Earth. It is, however, neither an Aten asteroid nor an Apollo asteroid because the semi-major axis of its orbit is neither less than nor greater than 1 AU, but oscillates between approximately 0.996 and 1.004 AU, with a period of about 350 yr.[1] In its ~350 yr horseshoe cycle, it never approaches Earth more closely than about 0.15 AU, alternately trailing and leading.

According to various simulations 2010 SO16 will remain in this orbit for at least 120,000 years and possibly for more than a million years, which is unusually stable compared to other similar objects.[3] One reason for this stability is its low orbital eccentricity, .[1]

A precovery of 2010 SO16 may have been located in a 2005 Spitzer Space Telescope image.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d Christou; Asher (2011-03-31). "A long-lived horseshoe companion to the Earth". Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 414: 2965–2969. arXiv:1104.0036Freely accessible [astro-ph.EP]. Bibcode:2011MNRAS.414.2965C. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2966.2011.18595.x. 
  2. ^ "419624 (2010 SO16)". JPL Small-Body Database. NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 8 April 2016. 
  3. ^ Asteroid Discovered in Horseshoe-Shaped Orbit, The Physics arXiv Blog, Technology Review, 4/05/2011
  4. ^ "New Tool Finds Buried Treasure in Spitzer Archives". NASA/JPL. 2014-04-03. Retrieved 2014-04-25. 

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