Key Facts


Medusa is a large asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter in the main portion of the asteroid belt. NASA JPL has not classified Medusa as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Medusa orbits the sun every 1,170 days (3.20 years), coming as close as 2.03 AU and reaching as far as 2.32 AU from the sun. Medusa is about 23.7 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to the city of Indianapolis.

The rotation of Medusa has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 26.02 hours.

No Close Approaches

Medusa's orbit is 1.04 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is an extremely wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

Orbital simulations conducted by NASA JPL's CNEOS do not show any close approaches to Earth.

Images and Observations

Medusa's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Sept. 28, 1891. It was last officially observed on Jan. 22, 2022. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 3,711 observations used to determine its orbit.

Scientists have been able to determine this object's shape:

View asteroid Medusa in 3D.

Accessibility and Exploration

This asteroid is not considered a viable target for human exploration by the NHATS study.

Similar Objects

These objects have orbits that share similar characteristics to the orbit of Medusa:



   or view a random object

Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.174 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.0653
  • Inclination: 0.94°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 159.6°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 251.24°
  • Mean Anomaly: 174.66°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 23.71900 km
  • Magnitude: 10.63
  • Albedo: 0.152
  • Spectral type (Tholen): S

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,170 days (3.20 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 20.21 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.32 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 2.03 AU
  • Rotation Period: 26.02 hours

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Medusa is indicated by a ◯ pink circle. Note that the object may not be in your current field of view. Use the controls below to adjust position, location, and time.