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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Graph of asteroid semimajor axis versus eccentricity

Graph of asteroid semimajor axis versus eccentricity

Minor Planet Center

Graph of asteroid semimajor axis versus eccentricity
Semimajor axis, on the X axis and measured in astronomical units, describes an object's distance from the Sun. It is the longest radius of an object's elliptical orbit. Eccentricity, on the Y axis, is a dimensionless parameter that describes how elliptical an orbit is; an eccentricity of 0 describes a circular orbit, and an eccentricity of 1 describes a parabolic orbit.

An updated version of this plot may be available from the Minor Planet Center.

Original image data dated on or about March 20, 2014

Explore related images: near-Earth asteroids, asteroids, trajectory diagrams, trojans and centaurs

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