Toutatis

(redirected from Caturix)

Toutatis

((4179) Toutatis) An Apollo asteroid discovered in Jan. 1989 by the French astronomer Christian Pollas. It has a chaotic 4.01-year orbit that carries it between 0.9 and 4.1 AU from the Sun. In early Dec. 1992 Toutatis traveled within 3.5 million km of the Earth (10 times farther away than the Moon). In radar images the asteroid looked like a distorted peanut, the irregular ends being 4 and 2.5 km across. In 2004, it passed the Earth again at only four times the Moon's distance.
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Although not stated by Chamberlin (1930), the name was presumably derived from the Celtic god Albiorix, who was worshipped in ancient Gaul and is often thought to be equivalent to Teutates, and sometimes known as Caturix (Lindemans 2005).