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This picture shows what an artist thinks Toutatis might look like.
Click on image for full size
Image courtesy Steve Ostro, NASA/JPL.

Asteroid Toutatis

Toutatis is the name of a strange asteroid. This asteroid has a strange shape. It also spins in a funny way.

Toutatis is shaped like a potato. It is about 5 km (3 miles) long. It is about half as wide as it is long. Toutatis might be two asteroids that are stuck together!

Toutatis spins around in an odd way. It wobbles like a football pass that wasn't thrown very well. If you were on Toutatis, every day would be different. The Sun would rise in a different place each day!

Toutatis orbits around the Sun. Sometimes it comes close to Earth. It passed near Earth in September 2004. It was about four times as far away as the Moon then.

Some astronomers from France discovered Toutatis in 1989. Toutatis is named after a Celtic god of war.

Last modified October 4, 2004 by Randy Russell.

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