Icarus (asteroid)

Icarus (asteroid)

Icaro is the name of a singular asteroid of the Apollo group, characterized by a very eccentric orbit and inclined about 23 degrees with respect to the Earth, which leads it, on the one hand to pass closer to the Sun than Mercury, at a distance of just 0.19 AU (about 28 million km), and, on the other hand, move away up to 2 AU from the Sun (about 300 million km), that is, beyond the orbit of Mars.

In the course of this orbit, which lasts approximately one year and one month, Icaro makes passages close to Earth. In June 1968, it passed 6.4 million kilometers from us, becoming visible in telescopes as a twelfth magnitude star.

From a physical and chemical point of view, Icaro seems nothing more than a fragment of rock just a kilometer and a half in diameter. According to some scholars, this could be the already worn nucleus of an old periodic comet.

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IAUIkeya-Seki (comet)