Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Interior-Earth Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Will pass within 16,186,314 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 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 larger than ~97% of asteroids but small compared to large asteroids, 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 16,186,314 13.758
Jan. 21, 2050 23,174,057 14.857
Feb. 1, 2059 20,985,237 12.827
Jan. 29, 2075 15,514,297 13.165
Jan. 25, 2091 16,538,463 13.836
Jan. 22, 2107 24,048,827 14.981
Feb. 3, 2116 20,347,677 12.845
Jan. 30, 2132 15,330,178 13.208
Jan. 26, 2148 16,916,996 13.906
Feb. 6, 2157 28,947,037 12.876
Jan. 22, 2164 24,724,045 15.076
Feb. 2, 2173 19,614,178 12.867
Jan. 29, 2189 15,200,276 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 July 25, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 59 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: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 0.7847 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.1829
  • Inclination: 24.77°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 311.01°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 318.61°
  • Mean Anomaly: 0.45°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.569 km
  • Magnitude: 18.9

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 254 days (0.70 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 33.61 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 0.93 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.64 AU

Map Comparison

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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.

Size Rendering

The above comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of 2006 WE4 to create an approximate landscape rendering with Mount Everest in the background. This approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.