::4179 Toutatis


Toutatis::earth    Title::asteroid    Close::approach    Asteroid::object    Author::radar    First::category


4179 Toutatis ({{#invoke:IPAc-en|main}} too-TAH-tis) is an Apollo, Alinda, and Mars-crosser asteroid with a chaotic orbit produced by a 3:1 resonance with the planet Jupiter, a 1:4 resonance with the planet Earth, and frequent close approaches to the terrestrial planets, including Earth.<ref name=resonance/> It is listed as a potentially hazardous object,<ref name=jpl-close/> although the probability of a collision with Earth is minute.<ref name=usa1993 />

On December 12, 2012 at 06:40 UT Toutatis passed within about 18 lunar distances of Earth.<ref name=jpl-close/><ref>NEO Earth Close Approaches</ref> On December 13, the Chinese lunar probe Chang'e 2, launched in 2010 on a lunar mission, flew by Toutatis at a distance of 3.2 kilometers and a relative velocity of 10.73 km/s.<ref name="Lakdawalla20121214"/> Toutatis will approach Earth again in 2016, but will not make another notably close approach until 2069.

4179 Toutatis sections
Intro   Properties    Orbit    Physical characteristics    Observation    Exploration    See also    References    External links   

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