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 class
| Typical orbits of Apollo-, Amor-,
and Aten-type asteroids.
Image credit: ESA
Apoheles, whose orbits lie entirely within that
of the Earth, form a subgroup of the Atens.
• ASTEROIDS: TYPES