The Toutatis asteroid is one of the potentially dangerous for Earth, but it surpasses the rest for a curious reason.
In the group of potentially dangerous asteroids for the Earth is Toutatis. Its strange shape makes an impression, considering it one of the strangest in the history of Astronomy.
The Toutatis was discovered in 1989 by French scientists, who gave it its name in honor of a warrior god of the ancient Gauls. It is located in the main asteroid belt, between Mars and Jupiter.
Its absolute magnitude is 15.3, while it has a rotation period of 176 hours and 5.4 kilometers in diameter.
In 2004 it was thought that it would collide with our planet, but the astronomers’ forecast did not reach greater. For later years it would be 2.8 million kilometers, although when is not specified.
Chinese astronomers’ observations of Toutatis
The Chinese came closer to learn more details about the asteroid. They did so in 2012, standing just under 800 meters from its surface.
Among the most outstanding features that they discovered, its concavities stand out, which implies that it may have collided many times with other celestial bodies.
“The vast majority of asteroids, as well as all planets, revolve around a single axis. But Toutatis falls like a fluttering pass ”, he claimed Dr. Scott Hudson of Washington State University.
It also stands out that it has a depression of 800 meters, so it is considered that it does not have a monolithic structure, but rather of several fragments.