On the eve of the end of the world to the Earth asteroid fly two
The inhabitants of the Earth are waiting for the end of the world, and it flies right past the two asteroids — one familiar to astronomers and a complete unknown. However, no apocalypse on them should not wait.
Newbie 2012 XE54 was opened a few days ago, on December 9. According to the calculations, the closest approach to the Earth of its trajectory will take place between us and the Moon, about 60% of the distance to it — to 226 thousand kilometers.
In the night of December 11, survived the asteroid eclipse: about 5 am Moscow time he covered the Earth's shadow, and telescopes could see as he disappears from sight, and after forty minutes reappears in the sky. Experts watched with interest this rare phenomenon.
Asteroid (4179) Tautatis — is a completely different story. Looks like a deformed potato the size of 4.5 x 2.4 km, it is known from the late 1980s and moving closer to the Earth on a regular basis — about once every four years. However, "cozies," except that in astronomical terms: its trajectory calculations showed that in the next 50 years, a collision with it does not threaten us. But it is likely that Tautatis, rotating slowly, and did leave the solar system: due to the complex gravitational interactions with Earth and Jupiter orbit it looks pretty chaotic.
At this time, the minimum distance to Tautatisa be almost seven million kilometers — almost 20 times larger than the moon. His progress, astronomers will also follow with all the attention. Because asteroids — the body formed more along with the planets, but since then have not changed. They are a bit of a fossil, preserved since the young solar system. So the study of the structure and the structure of Tautatisa promises very interesting results about the past, "the star of our home."
However, this asteroid was investigated ground-based telescopes in the previous approach to the Earth. Only this time, to be joined by a new amazing party — the Chinese lunar probe Chang'E 2, which at some point will be on December 13 just a few hundred kilometers from Tautatisa. Its high-resolution cameras led to the spectacular images of the surface of the moon, but with an asteroid Chang'E 2 will have a little more complicated, because he will fly past at a speed of about 11 km / s, and a thorough "aiming" time will not.
It remains to wish good luck to the Chinese specialists — Tautatis and see with their own eyes. In the night from 11 to 12 December, starting at around midnight, the asteroid will be visible with binoculars — or online translation project Slooh, which transmits images to the Web with these observatories in the Canary Islands and in the U.S. state of Arizona.