Recently uncovered celestial bodies

Dots in the sky turned into wonderous worlds



2012


Toutatis (near-Earth asteroid)

Group: Apollo/Alinda | Spectral type: Sk | Size: 3 km | Spacecraft: Chang'e 2 (CNSA)







2014


67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko (short-period comet)

Type: Jupiter-family comet | Size: 5 km | Spacecraft: Rosetta (ESA)







2015


Ceres (dwarf planet)

Location: Main belt | Spectral type: Cg | Size: 946 km | Spacecraft: Dawn (NASA)







Pluto (dwarf planet)

Location: Kuiper belt | Class: plutino | Size: 2374 km | Spacecraft: New Horizons (NASA)







Charon (dwarf planet secondary)

Location: Kuiper belt | Class: plutino | Size: 1212 km | Spacecraft: New Horizons (NASA)







Nix & Hydra (satellites of binary dwarf planet)

Location: Kuiper belt | Class: plutinos | Size: 21 km & 23 km | Spacecraft: New Horizons (NASA)







2018


Ryugu (near-Earth asteroid)

Group: Apollo | Spectral type: Cg | Size: 940 m | Spacecraft: Hayabusa2 (JAXA)







Bennu (near-Earth asteroid)

Group: Apollo | Spectral type: B | Size: 490 m | Spacecraft: OSIRIS-REx (NASA)







2019


Ultima Thule (contact binary planetesimal)

Location: Kuiper belt | Class: cold classical | Size: 32 km | Spacecraft: New Horizons (NASA)








Soon to be visited worlds

Unfamiliar objects awaiting first exploration



YearObjectClassGroupSpectral typeSizeSpacecraft
20222001 CB21near-Earth asteroidApolloS600 mDART (NASA)
2022Didymos (binary)near-Earth asteroidApollo/AmorXk750 m(170 m)DART (NASA)
20222001 SN263 (trinary)near-Earth asteroidAmorCb3 km(770 m/430 m)ASTER (AEB)
20221991 VGnear-Earth asteroidApollo?9 mNEA Scout (NASA)
20232001 WR1near-Earth asteroidAmorS650 mHayabusa2 (JAXA)
2023Kamo'oalewaEarth quasi-satelliteApollo?50 mAEM (CNSA)
2024PallasMain belt protoplanetPallas familyB512 kmAthena (NASA)
2025Phaethonnear-Earth asteroidApollo/activeB6 kmDESTINY+ (JAXA)
2025DonaldjohansonMain belt asteroidErigone familyC4 kmLucy (NASA)
2026PsycheMain belt protoplanetmetallicM23 kmPsyche (NASA)
2027EurybatesJupiter trojanleadingC60 kmLucy (NASA)
2027PolymeleJupiter trojanleadingP20 kmLucy (NASA)
2028LeucusJupiter trojanleadingD30 kmLucy (NASA)
2028OrusJupiter trojanleadingD50 kmLucy (NASA)
2032Elst-PizzaroMain belt cometactive?4 kmAEM (CNSA)
2033Patroclus-Menoetius (binary)Jupiter trojantrailingP110 km(100 km)Lucy (NASA)

1991 VG is the smallest object ever targeted for exploration.
Pallas is the biggest unexplored world inside the orbit of Neptune.
Phaethon is a active asteroid and the source of Geminid meteor shower.
Psyche is the biggest metal world, possibly stripped core of a protoplanet.
Leucus is extremely slow rotator whereas Patroclus-Menoetius are equal-sized binary.