Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a football field
  • Will pass within 9,843,117 km of Earth in 2022
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Classified as a Potentially Hazardous Asteroid (PHA)
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

2011 MU is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2011 MU as a "Potentially Hazardous Asteroid" due to its predicted close pass(es) with Earth.

2011 MU orbits the sun every 573 days (1.57 years), coming as close as 0.45 AU and reaching as far as 2.25 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2011 MU is probably between 0.234 to 0.522 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 90% of asteroids but tiny compared to large asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to a football field.

Close Approaches

2011 MU's orbit is 0.02 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is a wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

2011 MU has 18 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
June 23, 2022 9,843,117 20.040
June 18, 2033 7,681,239 23.121
June 11, 2044 29,691,222 27.598
Feb. 2, 2065 10,976,043 22.571
Jan. 27, 2076 20,520,547 18.219
June 27, 2080 22,426,806 17.528
June 21, 2091 3,882,056 22.175
Feb. 10, 2112 25,198,237 26.402
Jan. 30, 2123 15,537,546 19.473
June 29, 2127 22,427,100 17.540
June 17, 2138 16,318,533 24.904
Feb. 11, 2148 29,904,984 27.418
Jan. 30, 2159 15,808,213 19.434
July 1, 2163 27,154,980 16.646
Jan. 24, 2170 29,745,545 16.277
June 28, 2174 17,311,566 18.524
June 23, 2185 3,864,654 21.316
June 21, 2196 5,729,179 22.777

Images and Observations

2011 MU's orbit is determined by observations dating back to June 23, 2011. It was last officially observed on June 2, 2022. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 91 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 2011 MU:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.35 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.6651
  • Inclination: 7.3°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 100.01°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 281.89°
  • Mean Anomaly: 230.22°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.302 km
  • Magnitude: 20.28

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 573 days (1.57 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 25.63 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 2.25 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.45 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2011 MU 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 below comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of 2011 MU to create an approximate landscape rendering with New York City in the background. This approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.