Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Apollo-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a football field
  • Will pass within 22,238,570 km of Earth in 2022
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

2017 MW4 is a very small asteroid whose orbit crosses the orbit of Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2017 MW4 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.

2017 MW4 orbits the sun every 464 days (1.27 years), coming as close as 0.91 AU and reaching as far as 1.44 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2017 MW4 is probably between 0.254 to 0.568 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

2017 MW4's orbit is 0.05 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.

2017 MW4 has 10 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Jan. 15, 2022 22,238,570 17.100
Jan. 9, 2036 9,490,602 17.192
Jan. 4, 2050 9,520,193 17.625
Dec. 30, 2063 22,755,210 18.673
Jan. 15, 2097 21,544,235 17.091
Jan. 10, 2111 8,896,906 17.225
Jan. 5, 2125 10,392,804 17.698
Dec. 30, 2138 24,779,449 18.868
Jan. 17, 2172 20,630,246 17.075
Jan. 10, 2186 8,697,200 17.234

Images and Observations

2017 MW4's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Feb. 10, 2013. It was last officially observed on Nov. 9, 2021. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 70 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 2017 MW4:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459600.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 1.174 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.2256
  • Inclination: 30.34°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 287.39°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 210.02°
  • Mean Anomaly: 344.91°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.328 km
  • Magnitude: 20.1

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 464 days (1.27 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 27.53 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.44 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.91 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2017 MW4 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 2017 MW4 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.