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Aten group




typical orbits of Apollos, Atens, and Amors
Typical orbits of Apollo-, Amor-, and Aten-type asteroids.
Image credit: ESA

One of the three groups of near-Earth asteroids; Atens have semimajor axes less than 1.0 AU and aphelia greater than 0.983 AU, so that they orbit mostly inside Earth's orbit. The prototype for the group, (2062) Aten, was discovered in 1976 by the American astronomer Eleanor Helin, has a diameter of less than 1 km, and is of type S.

Apoheles, whose orbits lie entirely within that of the Earth, form a subgroup of the Atens.


Related category

   • ASTEROIDS: TYPES AND GROUPS