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2018 BF3

2018 BF3
2018 BF3-orbit.png
Orbit and 1 Feb 2018 positions after flyby
Discovery [1]
Discovered byCSS
Discovery siteMount Lemmon Obs.
Discovery date20 January 2018
MPC designation2018 BF3
NEO · Apollo[1][2]
Orbital characteristics[2]
Epoch 23 March 2018 (JD 2458200.5)
Uncertainty parameter 7
Observation arc3 days
Aphelion2.2905 AU
Perihelion0.8127 AU
1.5516 AU
1.93 yr (706 days)
0° 30m 36s / day
Earth MOID3.87715×10−5 AU (0.15 LD)
Physical characteristics
Mean diameter
12–38 m[3]
18–40 m[4]

2018 BF3 is a micro-asteroid, classified as a near-Earth object of the Apollo group, approximately 20 meters (70 ft) in diameter. It was first observed on 20 January 2018, by astronomers of the Catalina Sky Survey at Mount Lemmon Observatory in Arizona, United States,[1] the day after the closest flyby, due to its approach from the direction of the Sun.


2018 BF3 orbits the Sun at a distance of 0.8–2.3 AU once every 23 months (706 days; semi-major axis of 1.55 AU). Its orbit has an eccentricity of 0.48 and an inclination of 12° with respect to the ecliptic.[2] With an aphelion of 2.3 AU, it is a Mars-crosser, crossing the orbit of the Red Planet at 1.666 AU. It is also an Earth-crosser, as are all Apollo asteroids. The body's observation arc begins at Mount Lemmon with its first observation on 20 February 2018.[1]

2018 flyby

On 19 January 2018, the object passed at a nominal distance of only 0.00162 AU; 150,000 mi (242,000 km) from Earth.[2] This corresponds to 0.63 LD.[3] Close approaches are projected for 28 October 2019 and 26 August 2021, both at a much larger distance (0.24 AU).[2]

2018 flyby: Its path across the sky on 19 January was east to west (2 hour positions shown) (left). Seen from space, it passes just outside geosynchronous orbit (right).

Physical characteristics

The Minor Planet Center estimates a diameter of 12–38 meters (39–120 ft),[3] concurring with other estimates of 18–40 meters (59–130 ft).[4] As of 2018, no rotational lightcurve of this object has been obtained from photometric observations. The asteroids's rotation period, pole and shape remain unknown.[2]

Numbering and naming

This minor planet has not yet been numbered.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "2018 BF3". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "JPL Small-Body Database Browser: (2018 BF3)" (2018-01-23 last obs.). Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Retrieved 17 February 2018.
  3. ^ a b c Minor Planet Center. "2018 BF3". Twitter. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Asteroid 2018 BF3 flew past Earth at 0.63 LD, 6th in 4 days". The Watchers – Daily news service | Watchers.NEWS. The Watchers. 23 January 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.

External links