1566 Icarus, or 1949 MA, is an extremely eccentric asteroid, approximately 1.4 kilometers in diameter. It is a near-Earth object of the Apollo group and the lowest numbered potentially hazardous object.[1] In 1968, it became the first asteroid ever observed by radar.[2] Its orbit brings it closer to the Sun than Mercury and further out than the orbit of Mars, which also makes it a Mercury-, Venus-, and Mars-crosser. This stony asteroid and relatively fast rotator was discovered by German astronomer Walter Baade at the Palomar Observatory, California, on 27 June 1949.[3]


  1. "List Of The Potentially Hazardous Asteroids (PHAs)". Minor Planet Center. 20 September 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  2. Schmadel, Lutz D. (2007). Dictionary of Minor Planet Names – (1566) Icarus. Springer Berlin Heidelberg. p. 124. ISBN 978-3-540-00238-3. Retrieved 21 September 2017. 
  3. "1566 Icarus (1949 MA)". Minor Planet Center. Retrieved 21 September 2017.