Toutatis

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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.