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A Complete Guide to the Solar System and the Night Sky
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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 7:51  
clear_day Transit: 11:50  
SunsetSet: 15:49 south
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Dwarf Planets and Asteroids » 

Asteroid 1566 Icarus

Altitude: -70.1°   Azimuth: 336.9°   Direction: North-North-West

Asteroid 1566 Icarus is a near-Earth asteroid discovered on June 27, 1949, by Walter Baade, an astronomer at the Palomar Observatory in California. The asteroid is named after the mythological figure Icarus, who flew too close to the sun and fell into the sea. With a diameter of approximately 1.4 kilometers, Icarus is one of the largest and best-studied near-Earth asteroids. It has a highly eccentric orbit, with a closest approach to the Sun of just 0.19 astronomical units (AU) and a farthest distance of 1.97 AU. Icarus is also notable for its frequent close approaches to Earth, with the asteroid passing within 0.042 AU (6.3 million kilometers) of our planet in 1968 and again in 2015.

Asteroid 1566 Icarus is currently in the constellation of Sagittarius.

The current Right Ascension of Asteroid 1566 Icarus is 19h 35m 18s and the Declination is -32° 43’ 20” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current magnitude of Asteroid 1566 Icarus is 20.71 (JPL).

19h 35m 18s
-32° 43’ 20”

Today's rise, transit and set times of Asteroid 1566 Icarus from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 122.7°
Max altitude: 5.8°
Azimuth: 237.3°
  • 1566 Icarus is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Given its current magnitude, 1566 Icarus is visible only through long exposure photography.
  • Go to interactive sky chart

If you need to access this information frequently for your observations, you can create a simple customized Quick Access page, so that you can easily bookmark it in your browser favorites or add a shortcut to your mobile phones' home screen.

Available Resources

Asteroid 1566 Icarus Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Asteroid 1566 Icarus finder charts showing where the object is right now in the sky with respect to the brightest stars. The first finder chart has a field of view of 50 degrees, while the second one has a field of view of 10 degrees. Click on each finder chart to access a full screen interactive Online Planetarium.

Finder chart of 1566 Icarus in Sagittarius on December,09 2023
Map showing Asteroid 1566 Icarus in Sagittarius on December, 09 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of 1566 Icarus
Map showing Asteroid 1566 Icarus in Sagittarius on December, 09 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Asteroid 1566 Icarus is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

1566 Icarus
RA: 19h 35m 18s
Dec: -32° 43’ 20”
Deep sky finder chart for Asteroid 1566 Icarus
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Asteroid 1566 Icarus?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Asteroid 1566 Icarus in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Asteroid 1566 Icarus Distance from Earth

The distance of Asteroid 1566 Icarus from Earth is currently 374,110,945 kilometers, equivalent to 2.500777 Astronomical Units. Light takes 20 minutes and 47.8998 seconds to travel from Asteroid 1566 Icarus and arrive to us.

20 minutes and 47.8998 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Asteroid 1566 Icarus from Earth as a function of time. In the chart the distance data is measured in Astronomical Units and sampled with an interval of 1 day.

Chart of the distance of Asteroid 1566 Icarus from Earth in Astronomical Units (au)

The value of the reported distance might be somewhat inaccurate around the times of closest approach for objects passing extremely close to Earth. The value of the distance of 1566 Icarus from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach of Asteroid 1566 Icarus to Earth

Between 1 January 1900 and 31 December 2099, the closest approach of Asteroid 1566 Icarus to Earth happens on Sat Jun 15 1968 at a distance of 0.042551 Astronomical Units, or 6,365,561 kilometers:

Sat Jun 15 1968

NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed with a sampling interval of 1 day.

Asteroid 1566 Icarus Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Asteroid 1566 Icarus, according to the most recent ephemerides data. Magnitude data is sampled with a 2 days interval and there might be inaccuracies for objects changing brightness very rapidly during the course of a few days. For comets there could be large discrepancies between the observed and predicted brightness because of their highly dynamic behaviour.

Chart of the magnitude of Asteroid 1566 Icarus as a function of time

Asteroid 1566 Icarus Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Asteroid 1566 Icarus at epoch 24 February 2023 00:00 UTC (JD: 2460000.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.82686949
Orbit inclination i 22.79956293°
Perihelion distance q 0.18665665 AU
27,923,438 km
Aphelion distance Q 1.96959701 AU
294,647,520 km
Semi-major axis a 1.07812683 AU
161,285,479 km
Orbital period period 1.1195 years
408.8869 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2023-Mar-05 11:07:50
2,460,008.9638 JD
Next perihelion transit 2024-Apr-17 08:24
2,460,417.8507 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 31.441774561579°
Longitude of the ascending node node 87.951654802505°
Mean anomaly M 352.54816273589°
Mean motion n 0.88043904°/day

Visualization of Asteroid 1566 Icarus Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Asteroid 1566 Icarus with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Asteroid 1566 Icarus and the planets along their orbits in this diagram accurately represents the current configuration of the objects in the Solar System. This is an experimental feature and it requires a WebGL enabled browser. Please provide us feedback!

Orbit Diagram of Asteroid 1566 Icarus
View Asteroid 1566 Icarus in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Asteroid 1566 Icarus 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Asteroid 1566 Icarus computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Asteroid 1566 Icarus in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2023 Dec 02 19h 21m 51s -33° 12’ 56” 20.78 Sagittarius
2023 Dec 03 19h 23m 44s -33° 08’ 58” 20.77 Sagittarius
2023 Dec 04 19h 25m 37s -33° 04’ 57” 20.76 Sagittarius
2023 Dec 05 19h 27m 30s -33° 00’ 50” 20.75 Sagittarius
2023 Dec 06 19h 29m 25s -32° 56’ 39” 20.74 Sagittarius
2023 Dec 07 19h 31m 18s -32° 52’ 23” 20.73 Sagittarius
2023 Dec 08 19h 33m 14s -32° 48’ 03” 20.72 Sagittarius
2023 Dec 09 19h 35m 09s -32° 43’ 38” 20.71 Sagittarius
2023 Dec 10 19h 37m 05s -32° 39’ 10” 20.70 Sagittarius
2023 Dec 11 19h 39m 02s -32° 34’ 36” 20.69 Sagittarius
2023 Dec 12 19h 40m 59s -32° 29’ 57” 20.68 Sagittarius
2023 Dec 13 19h 42m 56s -32° 25’ 13” 20.67 Sagittarius
2023 Dec 14 19h 44m 53s -32° 20’ 25” 20.65 Sagittarius
2023 Dec 15 19h 46m 53s -32° 15’ 30” 20.64 Sagittarius