Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to traverse the asteroid belt and make a flyby of Jupiter, providing valuable data on the gas giant and its moons. Launched on March 2, 1972, Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to achieve escape velocity from the Solar System and enter interstellar space. Its mission ended on March 31, 1997, after over 25 years of operation and communication with Earth. Pioneer 10 carried a plaque designed to serve as a message to any extraterrestrial life that might encounter the spacecraft in the future. The plaque depicted a man and a woman, along with various symbols and information about our location in the galaxy. Pioneer 10 has now traveled over 12 billion miles away from Earth.
Pioneer 10 is currently in the constellation of Taurus. The current Right Ascension of Pioneer 10 is 05h 17m 20s and the Declination is +26° 04’ 48” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom ).
- Pioneer 10 is above the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom .
- Right now it is placed in the West-South-West direction at an altitude of 47° above the horizon.
- Go to interactive sky chart
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Pioneer 10 Position and Finder Charts
Below we provide Pioneer 10 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.
Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Pioneer 10 is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.
Also check out Where is Pioneer 10?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Pioneer 10 in the sky and additional links to sky charts.
Pioneer 10 Distance from Earth
The distance of Pioneer 10 from Earth is currently 20,069,800,142 kilometers, equivalent to 134.158328 Astronomical Units. Light takes 18 hours, 35 minutes and 45.6473 seconds to travel from Pioneer 10 and arrive to us.
The following chart shows the distance of Pioneer 10 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.
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 Pioneer 10 from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.
Closest Approach of Pioneer 10 to Earth
Between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2049, the closest approach of Pioneer 10 to Earth happens on Tue Jan 1 2013 at a distance of 106.506795 Astronomical Units, or 15,933,189,771 kilometers:
NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed with a sampling interval of 1 day.
Visualization of Pioneer 10 Orbit
This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Pioneer 10 with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Pioneer 10 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!
Pioneer 10 15 Days Ephemeris
The following table lists the ephemerides of Pioneer 10 computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Pioneer 10 in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.
|2023 Sep 21||05h 17m 22s||+26° 04’ 41”||N.A.||Taurus|
|2023 Sep 22||05h 17m 22s||+26° 04’ 41”||N.A.||Taurus|
|2023 Sep 23||05h 17m 22s||+26° 04’ 42”||N.A.||Taurus|
|2023 Sep 24||05h 17m 22s||+26° 04’ 45”||N.A.||Taurus|
|2023 Sep 25||05h 17m 21s||+26° 04’ 45”||N.A.||Taurus|
|2023 Sep 26||05h 17m 21s||+26° 04’ 45”||N.A.||Taurus|
|2023 Sep 27||05h 17m 21s||+26° 04’ 46”||N.A.||Taurus|
|2023 Sep 28||05h 17m 21s||+26° 04’ 47”||N.A.||Taurus|
|2023 Sep 29||05h 17m 21s||+26° 04’ 49”||N.A.||Taurus|
|2023 Sep 30||05h 17m 20s||+26° 04’ 50”||N.A.||Taurus|
|2023 Oct 01||05h 17m 18s||+26° 04’ 50”||N.A.||Taurus|
|2023 Oct 02||05h 17m 18s||+26° 04’ 50”||N.A.||Taurus|
|2023 Oct 03||05h 17m 17s||+26° 04’ 51”||N.A.||Taurus|
|2023 Oct 04||05h 17m 17s||+26° 04’ 53”||N.A.||Taurus|