Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Amor-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building
  • Will pass within 12,122,940 km of Earth in 2020
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

2012 KB4 is a very small asteroid whose orbit approaches the orbit of Earth but does not cross it. NASA JPL has classified 2012 KB4 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.

2012 KB4 orbits the sun every 417 days (1.14 years), coming as close as 1.03 AU and reaching as far as 1.16 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2012 KB4 is probably between 0.150 to 0.680 kilometers in diameter, making it small in absolute terms, but larger than 90% of asteroids, very roughly comparable in size to the U.S. Capitol building.

Close Approaches

2012 KB4's orbit is 0.07 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.

2012 KB4 has 29 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
June 1, 2020 12,122,940 3.426
Oct. 17, 2020 16,567,137 4.594
May 21, 2028 15,564,837 3.447
Oct. 12, 2028 21,945,598 5.485
April 22, 2036 23,817,366 3.533
Dec. 28, 2059 25,609,396 3.697
June 27, 2067 24,347,657 6.067
Nov. 27, 2067 17,450,954 3.627
June 23, 2075 16,317,909 4.678
Nov. 11, 2075 12,803,196 3.554
June 23, 2083 16,575,118 4.705
Nov. 11, 2083 12,780,349 3.552
June 27, 2091 25,164,393 6.163
Nov. 29, 2091 17,672,438 3.609
Jan. 1, 2100 25,797,914 3.580
March 25, 2116 28,237,580 3.337
May 3, 2124 20,668,090 3.496
May 27, 2132 13,629,239 3.423
Oct. 16, 2132 19,013,440 5.034
June 2, 2140 12,199,217 3.436
Oct. 18, 2140 16,307,469 4.611
May 23, 2148 15,286,849 3.454
Oct. 14, 2148 21,340,087 5.438
April 25, 2156 23,305,477 3.559
Dec. 30, 2179 26,096,739 3.666
June 29, 2187 25,067,199 6.158
Nov. 29, 2187 17,841,361 3.626
June 24, 2195 16,667,684 4.703
Nov. 12, 2195 12,794,709 3.538

Images and Observations

2012 KB4's orbit is determined by observations dating back to May 17, 2012. It was last officially observed on May 19, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 32 observations used to determine its orbit.

Accessibility and Exploration

2012 KB4 can be reached with a journey of 378 days. This trajectory would require a delta-v of 6.465 km/s. To put this into perspective, the delta-v to launch a rocket to Low-Earth Orbit is 9.7 km/s. There are 325,978 potential trajectories and launch windows to this asteroid.

See more at the NHATS Mission Trajectories table for 2012 KB4.

Similar Objects

These objects have orbits that share similar characteristics to the orbit of 2012 KB4:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.093 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.0609
  • Inclination: 6.32°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 60.48°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 277.68°
  • Mean Anomaly: 277.09°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.415 km
  • Magnitude: 25.3

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 417 days (1.14 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 28.52 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.16 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 1.03 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2012 KB4 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 2012 KB4 to create an approximate landscape rendering. The approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.