Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Aten-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a school bus or smaller
  • Will pass within 26,411,535 km of Earth in 2020
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

2020 MA4 is a very small asteroid whose orbit could bring it in close proximity to Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2020 MA4 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.

2020 MA4 orbits the sun every 292 days (0.80 years), coming as close as 0.44 AU and reaching as far as 1.28 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2020 MA4 is probably between 0.106 to 0.237 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a school bus or smaller.

Close Approaches

2020 MA4's orbit is 0.14 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.

2020 MA4 has 19 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Aug. 1, 2020 26,411,535 12.370
Aug. 4, 2024 24,409,723 12.689
Aug. 6, 2028 22,854,816 13.090
Aug. 7, 2032 21,889,490 13.627
Aug. 8, 2036 21,634,913 14.242
Aug. 8, 2040 22,186,301 14.973
Aug. 8, 2044 23,598,595 15.766
Aug. 8, 2048 25,813,214 16.661
Aug. 8, 2052 28,768,552 17.595
July 31, 2131 29,323,050 12.168
Aug. 3, 2135 27,051,023 12.338
Aug. 6, 2139 25,037,543 12.593
Aug. 8, 2143 23,396,290 13.009
Aug. 9, 2147 22,319,871 13.489
Aug. 10, 2151 21,939,093 14.113
Aug. 10, 2155 22,305,329 14.781
Aug. 11, 2159 23,487,834 15.573
Aug. 11, 2163 25,448,380 16.393
Aug. 10, 2167 28,146,414 17.340

Images and Observations

2020 MA4's orbit is determined by observations dating back to June 17, 2020. It was last officially observed on June 30, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 14 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 2020 MA4:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 0.8609 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.4914
  • Inclination: 15.34°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 287.54°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 171.26°
  • Mean Anomaly: 169.85°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.137 km
  • Magnitude: 22.0

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 292 days (0.80 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 32.07 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.28 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.44 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2020 MA4 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 2020 MA4 to create an approximate landscape rendering. The approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.