Key Facts

Overview

Maja is a large asteroid orbiting between Mars and Jupiter in the main portion of the asteroid belt. NASA JPL has not classified Maja as potentially hazardous because its orbit does not bring it close to Earth.

Maja orbits the sun every 1,570 days (4.30 years), coming as close as 2.19 AU and reaching as far as 3.10 AU from the sun. Maja is about 71.8 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to the U.S. state of Delaware.

The rotation of Maja has been observed. It completes a rotation on its axis every 9.74 days.

Maja's spectral type C (Tholen) / Ch (SMASSII) indicates that it is likely to contain nickel, iron, cobalt, water, nitrogen, and ammonia.

No Close Approaches

Maja's orbit is 1.20 AU from Earth's orbit at its closest point. This means that there is an extremely wide berth between this asteroid and Earth at all times.

Orbital simulations conducted by NASA JPL's CNEOS do not show any close approaches to Earth.

Images and Observations

Maja's orbit is determined by observations dating back to April 10, 1861. It was last officially observed on June 16, 2020. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 3,337 observations used to determine its orbit.

Scientists have been able to determine this object's shape.

View asteroid Maja in 3D.

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 Maja:

References

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Orbital Elements

  • Epoch: 2459000.5 JD
  • Semi-major axis: 2.645 AU
  • Eccentricity: 0.173
  • Inclination: 3.05°
  • Longitude of Ascending Node: 7.49°
  • Argument of Periapsis: 43.89°
  • Mean Anomaly: 110.77°

Physical Characteristics

  • Diameter: 71.82000 km
  • Magnitude: 9.5
  • Albedo: 0.0618
  • Spectral type (Tholen): C
  • Spectral type (SMASS): Ch

Derived Characteristics

  • Orbit Period: 1,570 days (4.30 years)
  • Avg. Orbit Speed: 18.33 km/s
  • Aphelion Distance: 3.10 AU
  • Perihelion Distance: 2.19 AU
  • Rotation Period: 9.74 hours
  • Approx. Composition: nickel, iron, cobalt, water, nitrogen, and ammonia.

Map Comparison

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Orbit Simulation

Sky Map

The position of Maja 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.