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Asteroid (4179) Toutatis
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Asteroid (4179) Toutatis makes its closest approach to the Earth (2.907 AU) on the 26th May, 2011.



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Ephemeris

Date       UT      R.A. (J2000) Decl.    Delta     r     El.    Ph.   V
2011 05 08 000000 15 48 39.5 -19 26 57   2.957   3.948  167.7   3.1  21.0
2011 05 09 000000 15 47 45.8 -19 24 07   2.951   3.946  168.8   2.8  20.9
2011 05 10 000000 15 46 51.6 -19 21 15   2.946   3.944  170.0   2.5  20.9
2011 05 11 000000 15 45 57.0 -19 18 20   2.941   3.942  171.2   2.2  20.9
2011 05 12 000000 15 45 02.1 -19 15 24   2.937   3.940  172.4   1.9  20.9
2011 05 13 000000 15 44 06.9 -19 12 26   2.933   3.938  173.6   1.6  20.8
2011 05 14 000000 15 43 11.4 -19 09 25   2.929   3.936  174.8   1.3  20.8
2011 05 15 000000 15 42 15.7 -19 06 23   2.925   3.934  175.9   1.0  20.8
2011 05 16 000000 15 41 19.9 -19 03 20   2.922   3.932  177.1   0.7  20.7
2011 05 17 000000 15 40 23.8 -19 00 15   2.919   3.930  178.3   0.4  20.7
2011 05 18 000000 15 39 27.7 -18 57 09   2.917   3.928  179.3   0.2  20.7
2011 05 19 000000 15 38 31.4 -18 54 01   2.914   3.926  179.1   0.2  20.7
2011 05 20 000000 15 37 35.2 -18 50 52   2.913   3.924  178.0   0.5  20.7
2011 05 21 000000 15 36 38.9 -18 47 43   2.911   3.922  176.8   0.8  20.7
2011 05 22 000000 15 35 42.7 -18 44 32   2.910   3.920  175.6   1.1  20.8
2011 05 23 000000 15 34 46.6 -18 41 21   2.909   3.917  174.5   1.4  20.8
2011 05 24 000000 15 33 50.6 -18 38 10   2.908   3.915  173.3   1.7  20.8
2011 05 25 000000 15 32 54.8 -18 34 58   2.907   3.913  172.1   2.0  20.8
2011 05 26 000000 15 31 59.1 -18 31 45   2.907   3.911  170.9   2.3  20.9
2011 05 27 000000 15 31 03.7 -18 28 33   2.908   3.909  169.7   2.6  20.9
2011 05 28 000000 15 30 08.6 -18 25 21   2.908   3.906  168.5   3.0  20.9


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Asteroid (4179) Toutatis makes its closest approach to the Earth (2.873 AU) on the 11th April, 2010.

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Toutatis
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On the 9th November, 2008, the 3.8 km wide asteroid 4179 Toutatis (1989 AC) will pass 20 lunar distances from the Earth Moon system.
The asteroid will appear as a magnitude 14 object.
 Date__(UT)__HR:MN     R.A._(ICRF/J2000.0)_DEC  APmag  


2008-Nov-07 00:00 15 17 01.69 -26 23 48.6 n.a.
2008-Nov-08 00:00 14 52 12.57 -24 55 56.5 n.a.
2008-Nov-09 00:00 14 27 10.45 -23 08 37.1 n.a.
2008-Nov-10 00:00 14 02 34.52 -21 04 56.5 n.a.
2008-Nov-11 00:00 13 39 00.11 -18 49 46.1 n.a.
2008-Nov-12 00:00 13 16 54.29 -16 28 48.8 n.a.
2008-Nov-13 00:00 12 56 33.96 -14 07 36.8 n.a.
2008-Nov-14 00:00 12 38 06.31 -11 50 44.5 n.a.
2008-Nov-15 00:00 12 21 30.86 -09 41 25.7 n.a.
2008-Nov-16 00:00 12 06 41.92 -07 41 34.1 n.a.
2008-Nov-17 00:00 11 53 30.79 -05 51 57.7 n.a.
2008-Nov-18 00:00 11 41 47.50 -04 12 37.3 14.14
2008-Nov-19 00:00 11 31 21.89 -02 43 03.9 13.98
2008-Nov-20 00:00 11 22 04.30 -01 22 32.2 13.86
2008-Nov-21 00:00 11 13 45.92 -00 10 09.7 13.77
2008-Nov-23 00:00 10 59 36.25 +01 53 38.4 13.66
2008-Nov-24 00:00 10 53 32.05 +02 46 41.9 13.63
2008-Nov-25 00:00 10 48 01.08 +03 34 49.5 13.61
2008-Nov-26 00:00 10 42 58.88 +04 18 38.5 13.60
2008-Nov-27 00:00 10 38 21.60 +04 58 41.7 13.60
2008-Nov-28 00:00 10 34 05.90 +05 35 27.4 13.60
2008-Nov-29 00:00 10 30 08.94 +06 09 20.5 13.60
2008-Nov-30 00:00 10 26 28.24 +06 40 42.5 13.61

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The ninth magnitude Huh?

Asteroid Toutatis could ave been seen in a `telescope` (or binoculars) in the constellation Microscopium before it passed into Telescopium  on the 29th September 2004.
Toutatis will not pass this close again until 2562.

Discovered in 1989, this 2.9 x 1.5 x 1.2 mile asteroid has an eccentric four-year orbit that periodically brings it very close to Earth.
When closest, Toutatis will race across the sky at 30° per day, making it impractical for us to print sufficiently detailed finder charts for that time covering more than a few hours.

  click to expandThere was another complication. The asteroid  passed so near to us that your location on Earth affected its apparent position on the background sky. This topocentric parallax may shift the asteroid's track as much as 0.1° away from the standard, geocentric track calculated on the charted dates for a hypothetical observer at the centre of the Earth. That's partway across a low-power eyepiece's field of view.
On September 29th, 2004 Toutatis made its closest approach to Earth, at which time it happened to pass within 1° of Alpha Centauri for observers in Australia and New Zealand.


Toutatis follows a four-year orbit. new pictures

The eccentric orbit carries it from the asteroid belt to just inside the orbit of Earth. It travels around the Sun in nearly the same plane as Earth, so close flybys are frequent. Nevertheless, radar ranging by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and others have pinned down Toutatis's orbit so precisely that we know for certain that it will not hit Earth during at least the next 65 years, and that the chance of a collision is extremely minuscule for at least several centuries after that.

Ostro's radar observations have also mapped its three-dimensional shape in detail. Toutatis is an extremely irregular, almost bowling-pin-shaped body 4.6 by 2.4 by 1.9 km in size. It may be two or three large rocks resting against each other with rubble filling the chinks. Ostro's group also discovered that Toutatis is slowly tumbling in a complex manner. It rotates with a period of 5.41 days around its long axis, which in turn precesses around another axis every 7.35 days on average. As a result, the Sun and stars careen around the Toutatian skies in patterns that never repeat.
This kind of tumbling is expected after asteroids collide. All minor planets probably behaved this way in the past, but centrifugal force and internal friction have "worked" most of them into simple rotation, around a fixed axis aligned with the asteroid's shortest physical axis. Most asteroids rotate with periods of about 5 to 20 hours. But Toutatis turns so slowly that the "damping time" for its weird gyrations is greater than the age of the solar system.

"The rotation of Toutatis is a remarkable, well-preserved relic of the collision-related evolution of an asteroid."

Of course, there are plans to carry out more radar observations during September's flyby. They expect to measure the distance between Toutatis and the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico to within a few tens of meters. That should be ample precision for measuring a 6-km displacement expected in the asteroid's distance due to the Yarkovsky effect, which arises from the absorption and re-radiation of solar heat . Because the size and shape of Toutatis are so well known,

"we will constrain the mass by means of the Yarkovsky perturbation since the first radar observations" in 1992. Thus, "We will get bounds on its density."

The radar ranging will also yield an even better orbit, probably adding more centuries of not having to worry about a collision.



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Name Date Distance V Speed H Op PHA
Size
Obs.
Toutatis 2008-11-09 12:00 0.05025 17.5 15.7 15.3 8 yes
4.6 x 2.4 x 1.9 km 1988-2000


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Toutatis
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 On Sept. 29, 2004 asteroid Toutatis ,officially numbered 4179, made one of the closest known pass of such a very large space rock anytime this century.
While not dangerous for now, asteroid Toutatis is incredibly weird. And scientists have bounced radar off the tumbling stone on previous flybys to generate computer renderings of its strange shape and movement.
Toutatis looks something like a dumbbell and is about 4.6 by 2.4 kilometres wide.
It has a crazy rotation. Instead of a fixed north pole, Toutatis' axis of rotation wanders around in two separate cycles of 5.4 and 7.3 Earth-days. .
Scientists can't explain the shape or the spin, but they're eager to learn more in September when, during the close pass, even backyard skywatchers will be able to spot the asteroid.

Source

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Toutates
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A new discovery that could change the way we think about Roman Britain has provided archaeologists with the missing link to a bloodthirsty ancient Celtic warrior god.
For years, metal detectorists in and around Lincolnshire have been digging up Roman-era finger rings with the mysterious letters TOT inscribed on them.
The significance of the three letters had been long debated.

Up until recently there were about a dozen of these rings known, mostly from Lincolnshire - Adam Daubney, Lincolnshire Finds Liaison Officer for the Portable Antiquities Scheme, which helps record archaeological finds.

Experts in Roman history had for some time suspected that TOT was a misspelled abbreviation of the Celtic deity Toutates, so he decided to research further and found 44 examples of the TOT rings, mostly from Lincolnshire and dating from the second and third centuries AD, the time of the Roman occupation of Britain.

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