A search of the Internet is so clouded with discussions about the asteroid belt or asteroids orbiting the planet Earth that I couldn't see an answer to my question.

Do we know if there are asteroids orbiting the Sun in Earth's orbit (NOT orbiting the Earth).

To be clear: these would be asteroids located somewhere around the Sun at the same distance as Earth, either following it or leading it in the Earth's own orbit around the Sun.

I hope that was clear.


1 Answer 1


There are several known Earth co-orbital asteroids. The first to be discovered was (3753) Cruithne, which is often mistakenly described as "Earth's second moon". Cruithne has a bean-shaped orbit when viewed in a reference frame rotating with the Earth.

The only known Earth Trojan is 2010 TK7, which orbits the L4 point located 60° ahead of the Earth.

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    $\begingroup$ That's what I was missing... the correct search term! $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jan 24, 2019 at 21:29
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    $\begingroup$ @JBH for a larger list of close, but not quite the same orbit, google Earth crossing or Earth grazing. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Earth-crossing_minor_planets and for an even larger subset, Near Earth Objects. $\endgroup$
    – userLTK
    Jan 25, 2019 at 1:56

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