Key Facts

  • Categorized as a Aten-class Asteroid
  • Comparable in size to a school bus or smaller
  • Will pass within 221,464 km of Earth in 2020
  • Classified as a Near Earth Asteroid (NEA)
  • Not a Potentially Hazardous Object
  • See orbit simulation

Overview

2020 VW is a very small asteroid whose orbit could bring it in close proximity to Earth. NASA JPL has classified 2020 VW 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 VW orbits the sun every 282 days (0.77 years), coming as close as 0.55 AU and reaching as far as 1.13 AU from the sun. Based on its brightness and the way it reflects light, 2020 VW is probably between 0.004 to 0.016 kilometers in diameter, making it a small to average asteroid, very roughly comparable in size to a school bus or smaller.

Close Approaches

2020 VW's orbit is 0.00 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that its orbit is relatively close to Earth's orbit.

2020 VW has 14 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Velocity (km/s)
Nov. 2, 2020 221,464 9.881
Dec. 17, 2027 23,044,891 7.706
Jan. 28, 2035 8,014,665 9.965
Nov. 5, 2037 6,469,555 8.496
Jan. 3, 2045 20,456,767 7.505
Nov. 3, 2047 18,017,421 13.475
Jan. 26, 2052 24,179,492 14.485
Nov. 30, 2054 20,872,088 7.608
Jan. 26, 2062 9,030,044 8.700
Nov. 2, 2064 2,037,182 9.309
Jan. 19, 2072 14,422,968 7.621
Nov. 2, 2074 411,786 9.706
Nov. 4, 2077 27,831,890 15.603
Jan. 24, 2113 7,867,240 9.787

NASA Sentry has assessed impact risk for 16 very close approach scenarios. Here are the top scenarios ordered by probability of impact:

Date Distance from Earth (km) Distance Error (km) Probability of Impact (%) Impact Energy (Mt)
Nov. 2, 2074 873.12 ±11.30 0.36020 0.01403
Nov. 2, 2074 89.88 ±7.18 0.33530 0.014
Nov. 2, 2077 2,375.40 ±3.14 0.00192 0.014
Nov. 2, 2077 2,901.84 ±14.02 0.00188 0.01401
Nov. 2, 2078 1,630.68 ±10.88 0.00037 0.01404
Nov. 2, 2078 770.40 ±5.31 0.00034 0.01401
Nov. 2, 2076 3,242.10 ±13.47 0.00008 0.01405
Nov. 2, 2074 898.80 ±5.57 0.00008 0.01389
Nov. 2, 2076 1,341.78 ±5.35 0.00007 0.01403
Nov. 3, 2079 2,933.94 ±4.64 0.00007 0.01402
Nov. 3, 2075 1,367.46 ±10.17 0.00003 0.01401
Nov. 3, 2075 532.86 ±4.28 0.00003 0.01399
Nov. 2, 2077 4,455.48 ±7.60 0.00002 0.01399
Nov. 3, 2087 2,940.36 ±5.47 0.00000 0.01391
Nov. 2, 2077 3,550.26 ±5.90 0.00000 0.01388
Nov. 2, 2074 744.72 ±8.27 0.00000 0.01385

Images and Observations

2020 VW's orbit is determined by observations dating back to Nov. 3, 2020. It was last officially observed on Nov. 18, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 20 observations used to determine its orbit.

Accessibility and Exploration

2020 VW can be reached with a journey of 338 days. This trajectory would require a delta-v of 10.8 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 2,229 potential trajectories and launch windows to this asteroid.

See more at the NHATS Mission Trajectories table for 2020 VW.

Similar Objects

These objects have orbits that share similar characteristics to the orbit of 2020 VW:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459396.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 0.8418 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.3467
  • Inclination: 3.04°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 221.67°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 41.4°
  • Mean Anomaly: 51.1°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: ~0.010 km
  • Magnitude: 28.5

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 282 days (0.77 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 32.48 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 1.13 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 0.55 AU

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of 2020 VW 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.