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public Observing fromLocation: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt
north SunriseRise: 4:46  
clear_day Transit: 12:57  
SunsetSet: 21:08 south
wb_twilight Astronomical TwilightWhat's Visible Now
Dwarf Planets and Asteroids » 

Asteroid 87 Sylvia

Altitude: -5.6°   Azimuth: 129.0°   Direction: South-East

Asteroid 87 Sylvia was discovered on May 16, 1866, by English astronomer Norman Robert Pogson. It is a relatively large main-belt asteroid, with a diameter of approximately 286 kilometers. The asteroid is named after Rhea Sylvia, the mythical mother of the founders of Rome, Romulus and Remus. Sylvia has an orbital period of 5.5 years and an average distance from the Sun of approximately 3 astronomical units. It is a member of the Cybele group, which is a large group of asteroids that share similar orbital characteristics. Sylvia is notable for having a satellite system discovered in 2001 by Franck Marchis and his team and composed by two orbiting satellites named (87) Sylvia I Romulus and (87) Sylvia II Remus.

Asteroid 87 Sylvia is currently in the constellation of Microscopium. The current Right Ascension of Asteroid 87 Sylvia is 20h 28m 05s and the Declination is -27° 48’ 28” (topocentric coordinates computed for the selected location: Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt). The current magnitude of Asteroid 87 Sylvia is 12.29 (JPL).

20h 28m 05s
-27° 48’ 28”

Today's rise, transit and set times of Asteroid 87 Sylvia from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt (all times relative to the local timezone Europe/London):

Azimuth: 117.7°
Max altitude: 10.8°
Azimuth: 242.2°
  • 87 Sylvia is below the horizon from Greenwich, United Kingdom edit_location_alt.
  • Given its current magnitude, 87 Sylvia 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.

Available Resources

Asteroid 87 Sylvia Position and Finder Charts

Below we provide Asteroid 87 Sylvia 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 87 Sylvia in Microscopium on June,05 2023
Map showing Asteroid 87 Sylvia in Microscopium on June, 05 2023
Field of view: 50x30 degrees
View fullscreen
Finder chart of 87 Sylvia
Map showing Asteroid 87 Sylvia in Microscopium on June, 05 2023
Field of view: 10x6 degrees
View fullscreen

Higher precision deep sky finder chart, 60 arcmin wide, showing where Asteroid 87 Sylvia is right now. Click on the image to see a more detailed fullscreen tracker view.

87 Sylvia
RA: 20h 28m 05s
Dec: -27° 48’ 28”
Deep sky finder chart for Asteroid 87 Sylvia
Field of view: 60x40 arcmins
View fullscreen

Also check out Where is Asteroid 87 Sylvia?, a page that provides all the information needed to find Asteroid 87 Sylvia in the sky and additional links to sky charts.

Asteroid 87 Sylvia Distance from Earth

The distance of Asteroid 87 Sylvia from Earth is currently 370,788,300 kilometers, equivalent to 2.478567 Astronomical Units. Light takes 20 minutes and 36.8166 seconds to travel from Asteroid 87 Sylvia and arrive to us.

20 minutes and 36.8166 seconds

The following chart shows the distance of Asteroid 87 Sylvia 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 87 Sylvia 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 87 Sylvia from Earth is also available as a real time updated value in the Live Position and Data Tracker.

Closest Approach of Asteroid 87 Sylvia to Earth

Between 1 January 1900 and 31 December 2099, the closest approach of Asteroid 87 Sylvia to Earth happens on Mon Aug 22 2095 at a distance of 2.153632 Astronomical Units, or 322,178,836 kilometers:

Mon Aug 22 2095

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

Asteroid 87 Sylvia Brightness and Light Curve

The following chart is the predicted light curve (visual magnitude as a function of time) of Asteroid 87 Sylvia, 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 87 Sylvia as a function of time

Asteroid 87 Sylvia Orbital Elements

The following table lists the orbital elements of Asteroid 87 Sylvia at epoch 24 February 2023 00:00 UTC (JD: 2460000.5). Source: JPL Small-Body Database

Element Symbol Value
Orbit eccentricity e 0.09396728
Orbit inclination i 10.87984080°
Perihelion distance q 3.15090993 AU
471,369,417 km
Aphelion distance Q 3.80448995 AU
569,143,597 km
Semi-major axis a 3.47769994 AU
520,256,507 km
Orbital period period 6.4855 years
2,368.8447 days
Date of perihelion transit Tp 2024-Feb-25 00:18:51
2,460,365.5131 JD
Argument of perihelion peri 264.28815649744°
Longitude of the ascending node node 73.010384379893°
Mean anomaly M 304.52793116662°
Mean motion n 0.15197282°/day

Visualization of Asteroid 87 Sylvia Orbit

This 3d orbit diagram is a feature of our 3D Solar System Simulator and shows the orbit of Asteroid 87 Sylvia with respect of the Sun and the orbits of the major planets. The position of Asteroid 87 Sylvia 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 87 Sylvia
View Asteroid 87 Sylvia in the 3D Solar System Simulator

Asteroid 87 Sylvia 15 Days Ephemeris

The following table lists the ephemerides of Asteroid 87 Sylvia computed for the past and next 7 days, with a 24 hours interval. Click on each row of the table to locate Asteroid 87 Sylvia in our Online Planetarium at the chosen date.

Date Right AscensionR.A. DeclinationDec. MagnitudeMag Constellation
2023 May 29 20h 28m 04s -27° 13’ 49” 12.42 Capricornus
2023 May 30 20h 28m 08s -27° 17’ 52” 12.40 Capricornus
2023 May 31 20h 28m 11s -27° 22’ 00” 12.39 Capricornus
2023 Jun 01 20h 28m 14s -27° 26’ 13” 12.37 Capricornus
2023 Jun 02 20h 28m 14s -27° 30’ 32” 12.35 Capricornus
2023 Jun 03 20h 28m 14s -27° 34’ 54” 12.34 Capricornus
2023 Jun 04 20h 28m 11s -27° 39’ 23” 12.32 Microscopium
2023 Jun 05 20h 28m 09s -27° 43’ 54” 12.30 Microscopium
2023 Jun 06 20h 28m 05s -27° 48’ 32” 12.29 Microscopium
2023 Jun 07 20h 27m 59s -27° 53’ 12” 12.27 Microscopium
2023 Jun 08 20h 27m 51s -27° 57’ 57” 12.25 Microscopium
2023 Jun 09 20h 27m 42s -28° 02’ 47” 12.23 Microscopium
2023 Jun 10 20h 27m 33s -28° 07’ 40” 12.22 Sagittarius
2023 Jun 11 20h 27m 21s -28° 12’ 37” 12.20 Sagittarius