3200 Phaethon facts for kids
Asteroid (3200) Phaethon imaged on 25 Dec 2010 with the 37 cm F14 Cassegrain telescope of Winer Observatory, Sonoita (MPC 857) by Marco Langbroek.
|Discovery date||11 October 1983|
|Epoch July 14, 2004 (JD 2453200.5)|
|Aphelion||2.403 AU (359.456 Gm)|
|Perihelion||0.140 AU (20.922 Gm)|
|1.271 AU (190.189 Gm)|
|1.43 a (523.586 d)|
Average orbital speed
Phaethon approaches the Sun closer than any other numbered asteroid. Its perihelion (closest approach to the Sun) is only 0.140 AU – less than half Mercury's perihelion distance. It is a Mercury-, Venus-, Earth- and Mars-crosser. The surface temperature at perihelion could reach ~1025 K, or 1400 F. For this reason, it was named after the Greek myth of Phaëton, son of the sun god Helios.
Phaethon approached to 18.1 Gm on 10 December 2007. It will draw nearer in 2017, 2050, 2060, and closer still on 14 December 2093, passing within 0.0198 AU (3.0 Gm).
Images for kids
3200 Phaethon Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.