Chinese orbiter completes close flyby of asteroid 4179 Toutatis

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The Chinese lunar orbiter Chang’e 2 has completed a maneuver that allowed a close flyby of asteroid 4179 Toutatis, a five-kilometer (three mile) long space rock that recently had a “close” encounter with Earth. The flyby was made on December 13, 2012. According to Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency, the probe made a close approach…

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Earth buzzed by not one, but two asteroids today

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A newly discovered asteroid, 2012 XE54, and an old-timer, 4179 Toutatis, are buzzing Earth today. Asteroid 2012 XE54 was only discovered a few days ago (December 9) and passed between the Earth and Moon at a distance of 141,000 miles. In a rare event, it was also eclipsed by Earth’s shadow as it passed. The…

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Asteroid to make close pass by Earth today

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For those anxiously awaiting December 21, 2012, here’s a little thriller for you. In a few hours, an asteroid (named 2012 QG42) the size of three football fields will be making a close pass by Earth. We would have warned you earlier but, eh, the astronomy geeks just spotted it a few weeks ago.

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