|Discovered by||Eric Elst, Vladimir Shkodrov|
|Discovery date||September 22, 1987|
|Minor planet category||Apollo, Mars crosser|
|Epoch December 1, 2005 (JD 2453705.5 )|
|Aphelion||547.47 Gm (3.66 AU)|
|Perihelion||111.84 Gm (0.75 AU)|
|329.66 Gm 2.20 AU|
|1194.84 d (3.27 a)|
Average orbital speed
4486 Mithra is an Apollo and Mars-crosser asteroid. It was discovered by Eric Elst and Vladimir Shkodrov on September 22, 1987. It is named after Mithra, Indo-Iranian god of light. In Asia Minor around 330 B.C. the god Mithra was identified with the Greek god Apollo, hence the name.
In 2000 it made a very close approach to Earth, passing 6.96 million km, or 0.047 au from it.
The asteroid measures 2–5 km in diameter. Its shape has been analyzed by radar, and has been revealed as bizarre: it is the most highly bifurcated object in the solar system, with two distinct lobes. It is a contact binary asteroid.
- Dr. Lance A. M. Benner (2013-11-18). "Binary and Ternary near-Earth Asteroids detected by radar". NASA/JPL Asteroid Radar Research. Retrieved 2014-03-01.