Dinkinesh Encounter

This image shows the “moonrise” of the satellite, Selam, as it emerges from behind asteroid Dinkinesh as seen by the Lucy Long-Range Reconnaissance Imager (L’LORRI), one of the most detailed images returned by NASA’s Lucy spacecraft during its flyby of the asteroid binary. This image was taken at 12:55 EDT (1655 UTC) Nov. 1, 2023, within a minute of closest approach, from a range of approximately 270 miles (430 km). From this perspective, the satellite is behind the primary asteroid. The image has been sharpened and processed to enhance contrast. Credit: NASA/Goddard/SwRI/Johns Hopkins APL/NOIRLab
A series of images of the binary asteroid pair, Dinkinesh and Selam, as seen by the terminal tracking camera (T2CAM) on NASA’s Lucy spacecraft during its closest approach on Nov. 1, 2023. The images were taken 13 seconds apart. The apparent motion of the two asteroids is due to the motion of the spacecraft as it flew past at 10,000 mph (4.5 km/s). These images have been sharpened and processed to enhance contrast. Credit: NASA/Goddard/SwRI/ASU
This diagram shows the trajectory of the NASA Lucy spacecraft (red) during its flyby of the asteroid Dinkinesh and Selam(gray). “A” marks the location of the spacecraft at 12:55 p.m. EDT (1655 UTC) Nov. 1, 2023, and an inset shows the L’LORRI image captured at that time. “B” marks the spacecraft’s position a few minutes later at 4 p.m. EDT (1700 UTC), and the inset shows the corresponding L’LORRI view at that time. Image Credit: Overall graphic, NASA/Goddard/SwRI; Inset “A,” NASA/Goddard/SwRI/Johns Hopkins APL/NOIRLab; Inset “B,” NASA/Goddard/SwRI/Johns Hopkins APL
A face-down view of Lucy's trajectory though the Solar System around the time of the Dinkinesh Encounter.

Encounter Basics (estimated)

  • Date: Nov 1, 2023
  • Time of Closest Approach: 16:54 UTC (10:54 MDT)
  • Closest Approach Distance: 264 miles (425 km)
  • Encounter Speed: 10,000 mph (4.5 km/s)
  • Distance From Earth: 3.2 AU (300 million miles, 27 light-minutes)
  • Time Since Launch: 2 years, 16 days (746 days)
  • Full Encounter Timeline

Asteroid Basics

  • Name: (152830) Dinkinesh and satellite
  • Location: Inner-Main Belt
    • Semi-major Axis: 2.19 AU
    • Eccentricity: 0.11
    • Inclination: 2.1°
  • Size: Primary est 790m, Secondary est 220m
  • Type: S-type
An animation approximating the expected motion of the NASA Lucy spacecraft and its Instrument Pointing Platform (IPP) during its encounter with the asteroid Dinkinesh. The spacecraft’s terminal tracking system is designed to actively monitor the location of Dinkinesh, enabling the spacecraft and IPP to move autonomously in order to observe the asteroid throughout the encounter. The yellow, blue, and grey arrows indicate the directions of the Sun, Earth, and Dinkinesh, respectively. The red arrow indicates the direction of motion of the spacecraft with respect to Dinkinesh. Credit: NASA/Goddard/SwRI


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Lucy Cartoon Episode 8: Dininesh

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More about the Dinkinesh Encounter

Jan. 25, 2023 - An as-yet-unnamed asteroid is added to Lucy’s Journey

Feb. 9, 2023 - Naming Dinkinesh

May 18, 2028 - Lucy changes course towards Dinkinesh

Sept. 11, 2023 - Lucy’s first Look at Dinkinesh

Oct. 13, 2023 - Dinkinesh Approach Update

Oct. 30, 2023 - Final Approach to Dinkinesh

Nov. 1, 2023 - Encounter Timeline

Nov. 1, 2023 - Lucy Phones Home after Encounter

Nov. 2, 2023 - First Images

Nov. 7, 2023 - Dinkinesh’s satellite is a contact binary

Nov. 29, 2023 - Naming Selam

Banner Image: An artist’s conception of the Dinkinesh encounter with the encounter insignia. Credit: Goddard/SwRI

Updated: Nov 29, 2023