Giant Asteroid Caught On Video By NASA
An asteroid was caught on video this week by NASA’s Deep Space Network antenna.
The giant asteroid 4179 Toutatis made a flyby over earth earlier this week and was filmed live by the Slooh Space Camera. A new video of the asteroid from NASA made its way online today.
According to Fox News, the new video was created with 64 radar images taken by NASA’s Deep Space Network antenna. Each of the new radar images has a resolution of about 12 feet per pixel. Toutatis was 4.3 million miles away from earth when the photos were taken, but you can still see some incredible detail in the video.
Space.com reports that, in addition the surface detail provided in the image, the 48 second clip also gives a glimpse at how Toutatis spins through space. The asteroid rotates and wobbles on axis like a “a badly thrown football.”
Toutatis is currently classified as a potentially hazardous object. The asteroid had no chance of hitting earth during its most recent flyby and will not come close to earth when it returns in 2069. There is a chance, however, that Toutatis could pose a threat to earth in the distant future.
Here’s a video of the giant asteroid 4179 Toutatis:
If Toutatis did hit the earth, according to Space.com, it would be catastrophic. Scientist believe that the asteroid that wiped out the dinosaurs was about 6 miles across. Toutatis isn’t quite that big, but, at 3 miles wide, it could potentially end most life on earth. Thankfully, when Toutatis makes it’s next close approach to earth in 2069, it will still be 1.8 million miles away.