First image of what is the asteroid closest to the Sun so far

First image of what is the asteroid closest to the Sun so far

It is the first asteroid to move completely within the orbit of Venus, and consequently also the closest asteroid to the Sun ever discovered .

It is about 2020 AV2 , and it constitutes a very particular object because only the planet Mercury is continually closer to the Sun.

2020 AV2

The Virtual Telescope Projecy 2.0 has released the first image of the asteroid, taken on January 8. Taking those images was difficult, because the object was quite low (25 degrees or less) above the western horizon, at dusk.


Among hundreds of thousands of known asteroids, only 21 are known or suspected to orbit completely within Earth’s. 2020 AV2 is one of them.

2020 AV2 is the natural object with the shortest aphelion distance (the farthest point in a planet’s orbit around the Sun) known in our Solar System (excluding the planet Mercury). In most asteorids, the aphelion distances are approximately 0.9 astronomical units. Last year alone, the AQ3 2019 object opened with a record short aphelion distance of 0.77 astronomical units.

Together with the asteroid 2019 AQ3, discovered by the same team, then 2020 AV2 has the shortest orbital period known so far in the asteroid population . The orbital period is the time it takes for a star to travel its orbit.