Thursday, December 13, 2012

Asteroid Toutatis 12-12-12

Asteroid 4179 Toutatis zooms past Earth on 12-12-12. This is a stack of 10x30sec R filtered images from iTelescope T5 stacked in ImageJ using the SUM function.

Asteroid 4179 Toutatis approached the Earth being closest at 18 Earth-Moon distances on December 12 6:40 UT. While this is not particularly close, Toutatis is reasonably large at 2.7 Km in diameter, and was quite bright ranging at around magnitude 10, making it an easy target.

Below is a 19 frame video of the asteroid zipping through the sky shortly before closest approach. Each image was 30 seconds exposure, R filter, taken with iTelescope T5.