Very strange asteroid

13.05.2004

13.05.2004


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The Internet has recently spread the rumor that a large and deadly asteroid falls to Earth this fall. Appeal to the astronomical authorities indicated that this, fortunately, only a rumor. However, rumors have a real basis. September 29th asteroid the size of a small town close to Earth closer all the other major celestial bodies in the last century.

Although he did not present any danger to us, the asteroid Toutatis is in high attention of astronomers — so it is very strange. Scientists have studied in detail the surface using radar, making detailed computer model of the surface topography and the characteristics of his movements.

The shape of Toutatis is more reminiscent of a dumbbell, badly battered during the journey in space length 4.6 km and a width of 2.4. Astronomers can not explain either its form or its strange rotation, so they are hoping to better study it in September when it can be a good look, even with amateur telescopes it will approach the Earth at 1.6 million km. Most of the celestial bodies — planets and asteroids — revolve around a single axis. Toutatis rotates feverishly as runaway pass. Its axis of rotation is moved continuously in two cycles of duration 5.4 and 7.3 days.

The asteroid was discovered by French astronomers in 1989. Astronomers can not yet accurately predict whether he will not face with the Earth in some distant future, so long as he is on the list of potentially dangerous asteroids. Nevertheless, we can say for sure that this will not be in the next 600 years. Toutatis last flew so close to the Earth in 1353, and the next time will approach only in 2582. It is reported NTR.ru.

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