Huge Asteroid’s Flyby: Where To Watch 4179 Toutatis Whiz By Earth

By Amir Khan on December 17, 2012 7:38 AM EST

Toutatis asteroid
NASA illustration of asteroid 4179 Toutatis (Photo: NASA)

A huge asteroid's flyby was caught on video, and people wanting to see asteroid 4179 Toutatis whiz by Earth can do so here. The huge asteroid's flyby, which occurred on Wednesday and Thursday, saw asteroid 4179 Toutatis come within 4.3 million miles of Earth, far enough away that the huge asteroid's flyby didn't pose any danger, but close enough that it made for a spectacular video.

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The huge asteroid's flyby, captured in a 40 second video, was taken by NASA's Deep Space Network antenna in Goldstone, Calif. The huge asteroid's flyby shows 4179 Toutatis, the 3-mile-wide asteroid, in amazing detail. The huge asteroid's flyby gave astronomers a spectacular view of 4179 Toutatis, and allowed them to even see how it rotates on its axis, which scientists say is like a badly thrown football, according to Yahoo! News.

Even though the huge asteroid's flyby never posed a threat to the Earth, astronomers classify 4179 Toutatis as a "potentially hazardous object," which means that while it won't hit the Earth in the next 400 years, after that, it may pose a threat.

If an asteroid the size of 4179 Toutatis slammed into the Earth, it would be catastrophic. Scientists say that any asteroid larger than 0.6 miles would alter the climate for years to come, and if 4179 Toutatis hit, it could be as damaging as the one that killed the dinosaurs, widely believed to be approximately 6 miles across.

The huge asteroid's flyby saw 4179 Toutatis pass by Earth last week, and the huge asteroid's flyby will come in November 2069, when the huge asteroid's flyby will bring it within 1.8 million miles of Earth.

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