Asteroid 16 Psyche
Asteroid 16 Psyche is an interesting object in the asteroid belt because it is believed to have a high concentration of metallic iron and nickel in its composition, making it one of the largest known metallic asteroids in the solar system. It was discovered on March 17, 1852, by the Italian astronomer Annibale de Gasparis, who named it after Psyche, a figure in Greek mythology who represents the soul. Psyche is approximately 226 kilometers in diameter and orbits the Sun at a distance of about 3 astronomical units (AU), with an orbital period of about 5.5 years. The asteroid has been identified as a potential target for future space exploration, including NASA's Psyche mission.
The current Right Ascension of Asteroid 16 Psyche is 17h 17m 03s and the Declination is -20° 54’ 31” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom ). The current magnitude of Asteroid 16 Psyche is 11.91 (JPL).
- 16 Psyche is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom .
- Given its current magnitude, 16 Psyche is visible with the help of a telescope having an aperture of 4 inches (100mm) or more.
- 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.
Asteroid 16 Psyche Position and Finder Charts
Below we provide Asteroid 16 Psyche 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 Asteroid 16 Psyche is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.
Also check out Where is Asteroid 16 Psyche?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Asteroid 16 Psyche in the sky and additional links to sky charts.
Asteroid 16 Psyche Distance from Earth
The distance of Asteroid 16 Psyche from Earth is currently 599,369,100 kilometers, equivalent to 4.006535 Astronomical Units. Light takes 33 minutes and 19.2801 seconds to travel from Asteroid 16 Psyche and arrive to us.
The following chart shows the distance of Asteroid 16 Psyche 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 16 Psyche from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.
Closest Approach of Asteroid 16 Psyche to Earth
Between 1 January 1900 and 31 December 2099, the closest approach of Asteroid 16 Psyche to Earth happens on Fri Nov 24 1905 at a distance of 1.641628 Astronomical Units, or 245,584,060 kilometers:
NOTE: values for the closest approach are computed with a sampling interval of 1 day.
Asteroid 16 Psyche Brightness and Light Curve
The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Asteroid 16 Psyche, 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.
Asteroid 16 Psyche Orbital Elements
|Perihelion distance||q||2.53196623 AU
|Date of perihelion transit||Tp||2025-Apr-27 08:36:54
|Argument of perihelion||peri||229.32824981988°|
|Longitude of the ascending node||node||150.03080705°|
Visualization of Asteroid 16 Psyche Orbit
This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Asteroid 16 Psyche with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Asteroid 16 Psyche 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!
Asteroid 16 Psyche Physical Data
The following shows the known values of the most important physical parameters of Asteroid 16 Psyche. Source: JPL Small-Body Database
|Physical Parameter||Value||Relative to Earth|
|Sideral Rotation||4.1960 hours||0.1753|
Asteroid 16 Psyche 15 Days Ephemeris
The following table lists the ephemerides of Asteroid 16 Psyche computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Asteroid 16 Psyche in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.
|2023 Nov 24||17h 05m 44s||-20° 39’ 05”||11.98||Ophiucus|
|2023 Nov 25||17h 07m 19s||-20° 41’ 27”||11.97||Ophiucus|
|2023 Nov 26||17h 08m 56s||-20° 43’ 46”||11.96||Ophiucus|
|2023 Nov 27||17h 10m 32s||-20° 46’ 01”||11.95||Ophiucus|
|2023 Nov 28||17h 12m 09s||-20° 48’ 12”||11.94||Ophiucus|
|2023 Nov 29||17h 13m 45s||-20° 50’ 21”||11.93||Ophiucus|
|2023 Nov 30||17h 15m 21s||-20° 52’ 24”||11.92||Ophiucus|
|2023 Dec 01||17h 16m 59s||-20° 54’ 24”||11.91||Ophiucus|
|2023 Dec 02||17h 18m 37s||-20° 56’ 21”||11.90||Ophiucus|
|2023 Dec 03||17h 20m 13s||-20° 58’ 14”||11.89||Ophiucus|
|2023 Dec 04||17h 21m 51s||-21° 00’ 02”||11.88||Ophiucus|
|2023 Dec 05||17h 23m 30s||-21° 01’ 48”||11.86||Ophiucus|
|2023 Dec 06||17h 25m 08s||-21° 03’ 28”||11.85||Ophiucus|
|2023 Dec 07||17h 26m 45s||-21° 05’ 04”||11.84||Ophiucus|