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Toutatis

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#1 Alan S

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 09:28 PM

Last night I observed asteroid 4179 Toutatis just before the time of close approach. I took several images and stitched them into an animation which is on my blog The Lost Pleiad Observatory

It was quite a fun project and the first time I have attempted anything like this.

#2 NJScope

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 10:14 PM

Alan

Great job, I was hoping to get out this evening to image Toutatis but the weather didn't cooperate.

#3 norton67

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 06:22 AM

Thanks, that was very cool.

#4 dan777

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 08:18 AM

I don’t know why, but this asteroid is one of the best kept secrets. Yet, it’s the “coolest” asteroid I have ever seen. S&T did a nice write-up.

http://www.skyandtel...d-Flies-By.html

I watched it last night on 12.12.12 – how appropriate!
Why is it so dim (~mag 10.8)? Must be a long way away. Nope, it’s dim because it’s a chunk of rock less than three miles in length.
Why is it moving so fast (20 arcseconds per minute)? Must be a man-made satellite. Nope, it appears to be moving fast because it’s so close to earth.
If I miss it when can I see it again? In four years (but you can call that Maybe) or eight years or 12 years, but it will likely be flung out of the solar system by then.

Alan, nice animation.

#5 Darren Drake

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 10:46 AM

After looking into this asteroid I see using SkySafari Pro on my phone that at 8:26 CST tonight 12/13 it will pass between an 11.5 mag and a 12.5 mag star and it will be 10.6 mag itself. At its rate of movement motion should be easily apparent if watched closely as it passes through these stars. I'm planning on watching this as it should be clear and I have only seen fast moving asteroids a few times...

#6 Alan S

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:32 AM

Good idea...you definitely want it close to some stars if you are going to appreciate the motion...for me, it was apparent, but not easily. Naturally it is much easier to note its position, take a 3 - 5 minute break and look again and you will see it has moved along. Either way it was pretty neat!

#7 dan777

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 01:05 PM

Last night at 10:11 EST, Toutatis came within less than one arcminute of HIP 8668 (mag 8.6). For a while I thought Toutatis was going to occult 8668. The speed of Toutatis was a great show.
Good luck tonight Darren, I might take a look at that same time. But then I'm also planning on getting up at 3 am for the meteor shower.

#8 JimK

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 11:10 PM

Last night at 10:11 EST, Toutatis came within less than one arcminute of HIP 8668 (mag 8.6). For a while I thought Toutatis was going to occult 8668. The speed of Toutatis was a great show. ...

I also saw that pass last night -- very impressive.

And tonight I viewed 4179 Toutatis before a thick band of haze moved in as the asteroid moves toward Xi2 Cet. Attached is my crude sketch of the observation.

It was quite enjoyable to see such a fast moving but small solar system object (especially when using a Barlow for additional magnification). Others should try to catch the view as the weather permits.

Attached Files



#9 coldfielder

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:56 AM

Yesterday night 22h20 UT till 22h35 UT. Went for the first catch of Toutatis, now in the head of Cetus, and a printed star chart near. The extra star rapidly found in the field, and the mag. of 10.5 seems correct. Still looking for a displacement, it was easily noticed. 2 stars and 1 star form a straight line, and Toutatis went thru the middle of it, just like in following quickly made images (40x, 1.5 deg). Next days still a try.


Posted Image

#10 Asbytec

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 10:02 AM

That's nice, Coldfielder. Thanks for sharing.

#11 LivingNDixie

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 08:30 PM

Glad to hear some are getting to see this. I have been sitting under clouds, just can't catch a break.

#12 Alan S

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Posted 16 December 2012 - 12:30 PM

I hear you...since the night of my observation we have not seen the sky...hoping for tonight!

#13 dan777

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Posted 21 December 2012 - 12:55 PM

And direct form NASA, here are some images of Toutatis.
http://science.time....id-caught-on...






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