Astroid Toutatis year 2012 has effects on Earth and moon

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Main Question or Discussion Point

What are the physical possiblities if the ,astroid Toutatis , crosses directly between the moon and Earth on December 12th 2012. I understand that this is a fairly large astroid and is projected to zoom near Earth somewhere in the range of the distance between Earth and the moon. What are the possible scenarios if Toutatis was to pass directly between the Earth and moon on that particular day. Could it get caught in Earths orbit and possibly sling shot back around and hit us or the moon and/or could it effect any of the oceans tides or earths temperature. Are there any possible physical effects that this could have on the Earth or moon or would it simply pass through our orbits and have no effect what so ever. I have thought about this for a couple of years now and finally I have people much more intelligent than myself to ask and maybe enlighten me on this subject. I apreciate any and all replies. Thank you very much.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
tiny-tim
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Welcome to PF!

Hi RT4765! Welcome to PF! :smile:

No, it has far too much energy … it will just keep going.

Remember, the Earth has no "sucky-power", so whatever the asteroid does, it will follow an orbit.

The only way the asteroid can crash is if that orbit happens to go through the Earth (plus atmosphere).

that will depend not on us, but on what happens when it goes near Jupiter.

(and the mass of the asteroid is way too small to affect the tides etc)
 
  • #3
Pengwuino
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For some comparison, the mass of the asteroid is [tex]~5 x 10^{13}[/tex]kg. The moon is [tex]~ 7.3x10^{22}[/tex]kg.
 
  • #4
Vanadium 50
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It's perhaps worth noting that a) at closest approach, 4179 Toutatis will still be more than 4 million miles away (the moon is about 20 times closer) and b) it was much closer on September 29, 2004 and nothing bad happened.
 
  • #5
turbo
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I fear that we're going to get a lot more of this astronomical-disaster numerology (12/12/12) cropping up.
 
  • #6
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turbo-1,

You got that right. Wait until the movie is out. Then it will spread like a virus.

Thanks
Matt
 
  • #7
Astronuc
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Just wait until 13/13/13. :biggrin:
 
  • #8
Janus
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For some comparison, the mass of the asteroid is [tex]~5 x 10^{13}[/tex]kg. The moon is [tex]~ 7.3x10^{22}[/tex]kg.
And to paint a picture of just how big a difference this is, it is like comparing 1 ounce of water to the water in 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
 
  • #9
turbo
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And to paint a picture of just how big a difference this is, it is like comparing 1 ounce of water to the water in 40 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Or about the concentration of the "active" ingredient in a "powerful" homeopathic solution. Vanishingly small numbers.
 
  • #10
tiny-tim
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Duck!

Homeopathic asteroids can still kill you … if you believe in them! :biggrin:
 
  • #11
russ_watters
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Just wait until 13/13/13. :biggrin:
If a conspiracy theory starts about that, I'm blaming you!
 
  • #12
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LOL. 13/13/13 .... I can only imagine.

Thanks
Matt
 
  • #13
turbo
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LOL. 13/13/13 .... I can only imagine.

Thanks
Matt
Lets see, if we stopped correcting now with leap days, how long until we need to add an intercalendrial month? 28 days for the new month times 4 years/day. Just a little over a century and we can add month 13 (Astron-ember).
 
  • #14
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Does anyone remember how the world almost ended on 6/6/06?

Thanks
Matt
 
  • #15
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Thank you for your answere. You made it very understandable for me.
 

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