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Sep. 29th 2004 -Toutatis Asteroid

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Sep. 29th 2004 -Toutatis

Asteroid Coming Too Close?

From Ian Gurney




I read with interest the article entitled "HAARP, China, Russia And The Moon" and noticed the following quote from Michael Goodspeed's comment: "He claimed that our government is not only aware of an imminent asteroid threat, but they have even set a date for its inevitable arrival -- September 29th, 2004. He also stated that the asteroid has been named "St. Michael", in accordance with the Celtic holiday, observed on the 29th." (See Goodspeed's Comment below)

Interestingly, I wrote the following article in the UK press in February this year:

"On September 29th this year a 3 mile long asteroid will make the closest predicted approach of any asteroid or comet to Earth during the next 30 years, say scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory Near-Earth Orbiting Programme Office*. They predict the asteroid will come within 963,000 miles of Earth..................a very near miss.

Asteroid 4179 Toutatis was named after a Celtic/Gallic god whose name is often invoked in the well known comic book series "The Adventures of Asterix," set in ancient Gaul. Toutatis is the protector of Asterix and his compatriots, who fear nothing except that someday the sky may fall on their heads.

It is one of the largest known "Potentially Hazardous Asteroids" (PHA) that approaches our planet on a Near Earth Orbit (NEO). Close encounters with Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter constantly alter the shape of the asteroid's path as it loops through the solar system every 3.98 years. On October 31st. 2000 the asteroid passed less than 29 lunar distances from Earth. The September 29th. fly-pass will come within four lunar distances of the Earth.

Toutatis also has one of the strangest rotations yet observed in the solar system. Instead of the spinning about a single axis, as do the planets and the vast majority of asteroids, it "tumbles" somewhat like a rugby football when it bounces.

At three miles long it would present a terrible danger to the Earth if it were to collide with the planet, although scientists at NASA say this is unlikely. It is travelling at a speed of about 20 miles per second and if it struck the ocean would unleash a "mega tsunami" or giant tidal wave that could reach around the entire globe, inundating millions of hectares of land, destroying coastal habitations and killing perhaps millions of people.

If it hit land it could completely destroy an area the size of Europe and would raise enough dust into the atmosphere to change the climate of the planet completely, causing a mini ice age that would freeze crops, destroy plant life and pre-empt a global famine. It would also completely destroy the ozone layer.

On Friday September 1st. 2000 the 2000 QW7 asteroid passed within 2.4 million miles of the earth. In cosmic terms this was a near miss. A scientist equated it's closeness to earth as being comparable to a man at one end of a tennis court throwing a marble at a man at the other end of the court and missing his head by the width of a hand.

By comparison Toutatis will, at 963,000 miles, be passing almost three times closer to the Earth than 2000 QW7. Toutatis will be so bright that skywatchers will be able to easily see it through binoculars.

An orbit simulation of the close approach of asteroid Toutatis can be

found at:


Copyright: Ian Gurney February 5 2004.

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Guest thetintshop
It is travelling at a speed of about 20 miles per second

that's about how fast I would be going to cali if jamie presley said "come get you some of this". :rollin

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