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WATCH: Asteroid Toutatis caught on video

Dec. 17, 2012 at 10:22 AM   |   Comments

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New radar images taken Wednesday and Thursday by NASA's Deep Space Network antenna in Goldstone, Calif were put together to create this video of asteroid Toutatis.

The 64 images taken when Toutatis was about 4.3 million miles from earth have a resolution of 12 feet per pixel and, for the first time, show a great amount of detail of the celestial body. Researchers described the asteroid as "an elongated, irregularly shaped object with multiple ridges."

The clip also reveals how Toutatis moves in space, "the asteroid spins about its long axis every 5.4 days and wobbles through space like a badly thrown football" said scientists.

According to Space.com the asteroid poses no current threat to Earth, and there is no chance that it will in the next four centuries or so.

Toutatis makes one trip around the sun every four years, and it will be in close proximity to Earth again in November 2069, when it cruises by at about 1.8 million miles from our planet.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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