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Precise Distance to Doomsday (today was the closest encounter from 1353 to 2562)
Astrobiology Magazine, based on European Southern Observatory (ESO) report ^
Posted on 09/29/2004 3:47:36 PM PDT by Truth666
Summary (Sep 29, 2004): Today's close passage of the relatively large asteroid, Toutatis, has presented astronomers with a new ruler to measure solar system distances. By using two telescopes separated by hundreds of miles, the classic parallax method validates the asteroid's orbital path.
Precise Distance to Doomsdaybased on ESO report
|The painting titled "K/T Hit" by artist Donald E. Davis. This impact occured 65 million years ago, ending the reign of the dinosaurs.
Image Credit: Don Davis
Today, September 29, 2004, is undisputedly the Day of Toutatis, the famous "doomsday" asteroid.
Not since the year 1353 did this impressive "space rock" pass so close by the Earth as it does today. Visible as a fast-moving faint point of light in the southern skies, it approaches the Earth to within 1,550,000 km, or just four times the distance of the Moon.
Closely watched by astronomers since its discovery in January 1989, this asteroid has been found to move in an orbit that brings it close to the Earth at regular intervals, about once every four years. This happened in 1992, 1996, 2000 and now again in 2004.
Radar observations during these passages have shown that Toutatis has an elongated shape, measuring about 4.6 x 2.4 x 1.9 km. It tumbles slowly through space, with a rotation period of 5.4 days.
The above images of Toutatis were taken with the ESO Very Large Telescope (during a technical test) in the evening of September 28. They were obtained just over 12 hours before the closest approach that happens today at about 15:40 hrs Central European Summer Time (CEST), or 13:40 hrs Universal Time (UT). At the time of these observations, Toutatis was about 1,640,000 km from the Earth, moving with a speed of about 11 km/sec relative to our planet.
|Strange rotation and Toutatis oblong shape have been compared to a flubbed football spiral pass.
Credit: NASA/JPL/ Goldstone
They show the asteroid as a fast-moving object of magnitude 10, about 40 times fainter than what can be perceived with the unaided, dark-adapted eye. They also prove that Toutatis is right on track, following exactly the predicted trajectory in space and passing the Earth at a safe distance, as foreseen.
Detailed calculations, taking into account all available observations of this celestial body, have shown that although Toutatis passes regularly near the Earth, today's passage is the closest one for quite some time, at least until the year 2562. The ESO observations, obtained at a moment when Toutatis was very close to the Earth, will help to further refine the orbital calculations.
Simultaneous images obtained with telescopes at ESO's two observatories at La Silla and Paranal demonstrate the closeness of Toutatis to the Earth. By combining two of the exposures from the two observatories, the sighting angle to Toutatis from the two observatories, 513 km km apart, is quite different. Astronomers refer to this effect as the "parallax". The closer the object is, the larger is the effect, i.e., the larger will be the shift of the line-of-sight.
Interestingly, the measured angular distance in the sky of the beginnings (or the ends) of the two trails (about 40 arcsec), together with the known distance between the two observatories and the position of Toutatis in the sky at the moment of the exposures fully define the triangle "Paranal-Toutatis-La Silla" and thus allow to calculate the exact distance to the asteroid.
It is found to be very close to that predicted from the asteroid's position in its orbit and that of the Earth at the moment of this unique observation, 1,607,900 km. This exceptional, simultaneous set of observations thus provides an independent measurement of Toutatis' distance in space and, like the measured positions, a confirmation of its computed orbit.
|The rocks inside a crater on the Asteroid Eros, as imaged before impact with the NEAR spacecraft. Numerous small impacts on the asteroid show brown boulders visible interior to the less exposed (white) lip of the crater. False-color for emphasis.
Image Credit: NASA/Eros
"The parallax picture is so simple, yet so very cool," astronomer Dr. John Horack told Astrobiology Magazine, "There aren't very many night-sky objects for which this is visible. [It's a] second step in the cosmological distance ladder, after establishing the scale of the solar system." Using the same parallax method, the scale of the solar system was observed during the June 8th transit of the Sun by Venus. Such simultaneous measurements were regarded as an early breakthrough when first performed by Captain Cook in the 1760s during Sun-Venus alignments.
The composite, false-color image of Toutatis shows the asteroid moving in front of background stars, as seen from Paranal (red trail) and La Silla (green trail) observatories. The two photos used for this combination were obtained nearly simultaneously in the morning of September 29, at 02:30 hrs UT, when the asteroid was passing through the constellation of Triangulum Australe ("The Southern Triangle"). The offset between the two trails corresponds to the difference of the lines-of-sight from the two telescopes towards the object. Two 1-min images were taken almost simultaneously. As the stars are common to both images, they appear yellowish.
TOPICS: Conspiracy; Weird Stuff
KEYWORDS: prozacchewables; tinfoilhat; toutatis
If you visit the home page of the two observatories at La Silla and Paranal you will notice they don't don't have any mention of Toutatis.
If you question the timing of this (we are being told that today was the closest encounter from 1353 to 2562 of the blue planet with an asteroid of this size), then search freerepublic for toutatis ...
posted on 09/29/2004 3:47:37 PM PDT
Of course, Dan Rather will go public with documents that allege George Bush failed to show up in 1353 to deal with the crisis.
posted on 09/29/2004 3:54:56 PM PDT
("John Kerry is a flip-flopper and a phony" - Howell Raines quoted in the Wash. Post)
If you question the timing of this
Question the timing of what? I looked at the other FR article mentioned and I can't figure out what you're trying to call a hoax.
posted on 09/29/2004 3:57:06 PM PDT
The above images of Toutatis were taken with the ESO Very Large Telescope (during a technical test) in the evening of September 28.
In this thread, what about starting with this line ?
posted on 09/29/2004 4:05:46 PM PDT
Perhaps I'm being a bit dense, but what are you talking about? What's the odd timing of this? What's the hoax? Just a straight answer please.
posted on 09/30/2004 7:45:25 AM PDT
As predicted : Toutatis was a hoax designed to be seen only by the "enlightened" of ESO.
Find out the location of the science pantheon, La Silla - an illegible 450 kb map that takes minutes to load. From the one and only ESO - the only lucky people that were able to spot the closest approach in more than 1200 years ... and for the next 560 years ... even if it was mag 10 ...
posted on 09/30/2004 7:46:45 AM PDT
posted on 09/30/2004 7:47:20 AM PDT
posted on 09/30/2004 7:56:08 AM PDT
Toutatis was a hoax designed to be seen only by the "enlightened" of ESO.
So there is no such asteroid?
posted on 09/30/2004 9:04:52 AM PDT
posted on 09/30/2004 9:31:40 AM PDT
Yesterday was September 29, the only day where the Earth was being dangerously approached in a period of 1207 years !
We had the closest encounter of the blue planet with an asteroid of this size from 1353 to 2562 ... and Google News can only find 11 media sites reporting on that the day after. BTW, among those 10 media sites that understood the importance of this "event" :
- North County Times, CA
- Casa Grande Valley Newspapers, AZ
- LinuxInsider.com, CA
posted on 09/30/2004 11:16:06 AM PDT
You're full of it.
posted on 09/30/2004 3:22:48 PM PDT
posted on 12/26/2004 4:06:22 AM PST
In fact Aceh moslems (large majority supports sharia) like the rest of the Moslems will deny the writing on the wall.
For moslems the great moment where they will take control of the world is now inevitably within reach. Simply because of demographics.
In fact only an apocalyptic event could prevent that ...
posted on 01/04/2005 1:26:31 PM PST
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