96P/Machholz 1 is a mid-sized comet whose orbit features a relatively short period, low inclination, and is controlled by Jupiter's gravitational effects. NASA JPL has classified 96P/Machholz 1 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.
96P/Machholz 1 orbits the sun every 1,930 days (5.28 years), coming as close as 0.12 AU and reaching as far as 5.95 AU from the sun. Its orbit is highly elliptical. 96P/Machholz 1 is about 6.4 kilometers in diameter, making it larger than 99% of asteroids, comparable in size to the San Francisco Bay.
96P/Machholz 1's orbit is 0.33 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.
96P/Machholz 1 has 1 close approaches predicted in the coming decades:
|Date||Distance from Earth (km)||Velocity (km/s)|
|June 13, 2139||26,802,382||41.367|
96P/Machholz 1's orbit is determined by observations dating back to April 20, 2012. It was last officially observed on June 22, 2023. The IAU Minor Planet Center records 667 observations used to determine its orbit.
The position of 96P/Machholz 1 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.
The above comparison is an artistic rendering that uses available data on the diameter of 96P/Machholz 1 to create an approximate landscape rendering with Mount Everest in the background. This approximation is built for full-resolution desktop browsers. Shape, color, and texture of asteroid are imagined.