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NEO Toutatis 0.05 AU Passage in December

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#1 Centaur



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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:00 PM

NEO asteroid 4179 Toutatis will pass Earth by 0.05 AU on 2012 DEC 12. The 4.5x2.4x1.9 km object is expected to peak at magnitude +10.5 on DEC 16.

I’ve created an equatorial chart, overhead diagram and ephemeris for the asteroid. They can be seen at: www.CurtRenz.com/asteroids

Photos and descriptions of Toutatis would be welcome additions to this thread.

#2 SteelStar


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Posted 11 December 2012 - 11:54 PM

Got to observe asteroid 4179 Toutatis tonight.First saw it back on September 17, 2004 in Capricornus.

Tonight it was in a very faint sparse starfield in Cetus about a degree North of 42 Ceti (STF 113). I had a little trouble finding my printed chart field but finally I got it.

Toutatis was easily seen in my 12" dob using a 13mm Stratus EP. It seemed to be about as bright as a nearby 11th mag. star. I checked the time on my phone and it was 8:02 pm CT. After a minute or so some movement was seen. I watched it for several minutes then it seemed to line up with a faint row of stars. I checked my phone again and it was 8:20 pm.It moved about 6 arc/min in that short time.

I was viewing from 35 26' 32.71" N / 97 15' 30.07" W Elevation 1204 ft.

Scope is Orion SkyQuest Dobsonian XT12 Newtonian Reflector using 13mm Stratus EP (115x).
Sketch is flipped to match view in reflector.

Attached Files

#3 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 03:13 PM

I'll be going to the ASH Naylor Observatory tonight to see if I can sweep up asteroid 4179 Toutatis.

http://www.skyandtel.../182568711.html (S & T finder charts)

http://www.youtube.c...d&v=B-kRrPtvIr4 (SLOOH Space Camera video)

http://www.ustream.t...ter-observatory (Clay Center video)

http://ssd.jpl.nasa....sstr=4179;orb=1 (orbital elements)

http://www.curtrenz....steroids15.html (ephemeris)

http://www.curtrenz....steroids02.html (chart)

http://events.slooh.com/ (video coverage)

Dave Mitsky

#4 davidpitre



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Posted 12 December 2012 - 04:30 PM

Does anyone know the fov for the Clay Center image?

#5 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 06:01 PM

I didn't go to the observatory that night due to persistent clouds, despite a forecast of clear skies.

However, my good friend Tony Donnangelo and I were able to observe the flyby of asteroid 4179 Toutatis last night from his home east of Pennsylvania's capital city. He'd set up his 14.5" Starmaster Dob in his backyard and had already swept up the rapidly moving NEO before I arrived. I first saw Toutatis through a 22mm Nagler Type 4. After swapping eyepieces for increased magnification, I asked Tony if he wanted to try my new (and hopefully last ever) ocular, a 6mm Tele Vue Delos. First light for this recently acquired eyepiece turned out to be an asteroid.

The 6mm Delos produced 304x in Tony's scope. At that magnification, the motion of the asteroid was readily apparent in a span of ten minutes or less. We watched the progress of Toutatis for over an hour, then Tony trained the Starmaster on Jupiter. A shadow transit by Europa was in progress. We swapped the 6mm for a 7mm Pentax XL for a bit steadier view.

We also viewed the Double Cluster, NGC 7789, NGC 457, and M42.

The light trespass from local urban sprawl, the insecurity lights from neighboring houses, and Christmas lights was pretty bad. Tony bemoaned the fact that at one time he could see the full expanse of the Milky Way from his backyard.

Dave Mitsky

#6 RedLionNJ


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Posted 27 December 2012 - 05:55 PM

I just came across this thread. I took a series of images on the evening of December 14 from southern NJ, combining them into a short AVI. You can view it here, best seen in full-screen mode. I was pleasantly surprised at how Toutatis dominated the field with a 12" LX200 and a Canon 550D!



#7 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 01 January 2013 - 05:57 PM

Here are two more videos of the flyby:



Dave Mitsky

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