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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: 7:47  
clear_day Transit: 11:49  
SunsetSet: 15:50 south
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Dwarf Planets and Asteroids » 

Asteroid 9 Metis

Altitude: 43.9°   Azimuth: 103.2°   Direction: East-South-East

Asteroid 9 Metis is a main-belt asteroid that orbits the Sun between Mars and Jupiter. It was discovered on April 25, 1848, by Irish astronomer Andrew Graham. The asteroid is named after the Greek goddess of wisdom and cunning, Metis. Metis has a relatively small diameter of about 90 kilometers and a rotation period of about 5.5 hours. Its orbit is somewhat eccentric, with a semi-major axis of approximately 2.39 astronomical units (AU) and an orbital period of about 3.69 years. Metis is also a member of the Flora family of asteroids, a group of objects that share similar orbital and physical properties and are believed to have formed from a common parent body.

Asteroid 9 Metis is currently in the constellation of Gemini.

The current Right Ascension of Asteroid 9 Metis is 06h 20m 13s and the Declination is +26° 08’ 37” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current magnitude of Asteroid 9 Metis is 8.85 (JPL).

06h 20m 13s
+26° 08’ 37”

Today's rise, transit and set times of Asteroid 9 Metis from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 63.9°
Max altitude: 64.6°
Azimuth: 296.1°
  • 9 Metis is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Right now it is placed in the East-South-East direction at an altitude of 44° above the horizon.
  • Given its current magnitude, 9 Metis is visible with the help of a binocular with a 50mm aperture, easy with a small telescope.
  • 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 9 Metis Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Asteroid 9 Metis 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 9 Metis in Gemini on December,05 2023
Map showing Asteroid 9 Metis in Gemini on December, 05 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of 9 Metis
Map showing Asteroid 9 Metis in Gemini on December, 05 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Asteroid 9 Metis is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

9 Metis
RA: 06h 20m 13s
Dec: +26° 08’ 37”
Deep sky finder chart for Asteroid 9 Metis
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Asteroid 9 Metis?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Asteroid 9 Metis in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Asteroid 9 Metis Distance from Earth

The distance of Asteroid 9 Metis from Earth is currently 171,779,845 kilometers, equivalent to 1.148277 Astronomical Units. Light takes 9 minutes and 32.9959 seconds to travel from Asteroid 9 Metis and arrive to us.

9 minutes and 32.9959 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Asteroid 9 Metis 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 9 Metis 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 9 Metis from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach of Asteroid 9 Metis to Earth

Between 1 January 1900 and 31 December 2099, the closest approach of Asteroid 9 Metis to Earth happens on Thu Dec 7 1916 at a distance of 1.107641 Astronomical Units, or 165,700,805 kilometers:

Thu Dec 7 1916

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

Asteroid 9 Metis Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Asteroid 9 Metis, 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 9 Metis as a function of time

Asteroid 9 Metis Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Asteroid 9 Metis at epoch 21 September 2006 00:00 UTC (JD: 2454000.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.25024871
Orbit inclination i 17.08900092°
Perihelion distance q 29.57399177 AU
4,424,206,206 km
Aphelion distance Q 49.31614768 AU
7,377,590,699 km
Semi-major axis a 39.44506973 AU
5,900,898,452 km
Orbital period period 247.7407 years
90,487.2769 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 1989-May-08 00:42:12
2,447,654.5293 JD
Next perihelion transit 2237-Feb-04 07:20
2,538,141.8062 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 112.59714167749°
Longitude of the ascending node node 110.37695795541°
Mean anomaly M 25.247189712188°
Mean motion n 0.00397846°/day

Visualization of Asteroid 9 Metis Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Asteroid 9 Metis with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Asteroid 9 Metis 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 9 Metis
View Asteroid 9 Metis in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Asteroid 9 Metis Physical Data

The following shows the known values of the most important physical parameters of Asteroid 9 Metis. Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Physical Parameter Value Relative to Earth
Diameter 190 km 0.0149
Sideral Rotation 5.0790 hours 0.2122
Absolute Magnitude 6.28
Geometric Albedo 0.118

Asteroid 9 Metis 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Asteroid 9 Metis computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Asteroid 9 Metis in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2023 Nov 28 06h 26m 09s +25° 32’ 52” 9.07 Gemini
2023 Nov 29 06h 25m 32s +25° 37’ 22” 9.05 Gemini
2023 Nov 30 06h 24m 51s +25° 41’ 53” 9.02 Gemini
2023 Dec 01 06h 24m 10s +25° 46’ 23” 8.99 Gemini
2023 Dec 02 06h 23m 25s +25° 50’ 57” 8.96 Gemini
2023 Dec 03 06h 22m 39s +25° 55’ 28” 8.94 Gemini
2023 Dec 04 06h 21m 51s +26° 00’ 02” 8.91 Gemini
2023 Dec 05 06h 21m 01s +26° 04’ 33” 8.88 Gemini
2023 Dec 06 06h 20m 08s +26° 09’ 05” 8.85 Gemini
2023 Dec 07 06h 19m 14s +26° 13’ 35” 8.83 Gemini
2023 Dec 08 06h 18m 20s +26° 18’ 05” 8.80 Gemini
2023 Dec 09 06h 17m 22s +26° 22’ 32” 8.77 Gemini
2023 Dec 10 06h 16m 23s +26° 26’ 57” 8.74 Gemini
2023 Dec 11 06h 15m 24s +26° 31’ 19” 8.71 Gemini