Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Interior-Earth Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Will pass within 16,186,262 km of Earth in 2034
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

2006 WE4 is a very small asteroid with an orbit that is entirely confined within Earth's orbit. NASA JPL has classified 2006 WE4 as a "Near Earth Asteroid" due to its orbit's proximity to Earth, but it is not considered potentially hazardous because computer simulations have not indicated any imminent likelihood of future collision.

2006 WE4 orbits the sun every 254 days (0.70 years), coming as close as 0.64 AU and reaching as far as 0.93 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2006 WE4 is probably between 0.441 to 0.986 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Close Approaches

2006 WE4's orbit is 0.10 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is an wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

2006 WE4 has 13 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Jan. 25, 2034 16,186,262 13.758
Jan. 21, 2050 23,173,916 14.857
Feb. 1, 2059 20,985,355 12.827
Jan. 29, 2075 15,514,328 13.165
Jan. 25, 2091 16,538,336 13.836
Jan. 22, 2107 24,048,531 14.980
Feb. 3, 2116 20,347,912 12.845
Jan. 30, 2132 15,330,224 13.208
Jan. 26, 2148 16,916,780 13.906
Feb. 6, 2157 28,947,480 12.876
Jan. 22, 2164 24,723,591 15.076
Feb. 2, 2173 19,614,516 12.867
Jan. 29, 2189 15,200,316 13.261

Images and Observations

2006 WE4's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Nov. 21, 2006. It was last officially observed on Jan. 23, 2018. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 49 observations used to determine its orbit.

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 2006 WE4:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2458600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 0.784744509111 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.182917614146
  • Inclination: 24.7670781211°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 311.014633322°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 318.597465874°
  • Mean Anomaly: 153.349859747°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.569 km
  • Magnitude: 18.9

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 254 days (0.70 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 33.62 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 0.93 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.64 AU

Size Comparison

Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2006 WE4 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.