Asteroid (4179) Toutatis passes the Earth
The asteroid (4179) Toutatis, as photographed with the FORS1 multimode instrument at the 8.2-m VLT Kueyen telescope at the ESO Paranal Observatory. At the time of these exposures, the asteroid was about 1,640,000 km from the Earth and moving rapidly across the sky in the southern constellation Ara (The Altar).
The exposure time was 5 min while the telescope was following the normal diurnal motion; the stars now appear as points of light, while the asteroid's long trail crosses the entire field-of-view. Both photos were obtained through a narrow optical filter.
About the Image
|Release date:||29 September 2004|
|Size:||2048 x 2049 px|
About the Object
|Type:||• Solar System : Interplanetary Body : Asteroid|
• X - Solar System
Colours & filters
|Optical||Very Large Telescope|