Asteroid caught on video: NASA shows 4179 Toutatis' 'close encounter' with Earth

A new video shows the giant asteroid 4179 Toutatis hurdling through space on its flyby of Earth earlier this week.

The asteroid Toutatis video combines 64 radar images taken Wednesday and Thursday by NASA's Deep Space Network antenna in Goldstone, Calif., according to the staff .

On those days, Toutatis was about 4.3 million miles away from earth (about 18 times farther away than the moon.)

The video reveals how Toutatis moves, wobbling like a badly thrown football.

Scientists say Toutatis never posed a threat to earth on its recent flyby and there is no chance of it hitting our planet within the next four centuries or so. Beyond that, the asteroid's orbit is impossible to accurately predict.

If it ever does collide with earth it would cause catastrophic damage, potentially killing off humanity and numerous other species.

Asteroid Toutatis makes one trip around the sun every four years. The next time it comes "close" to earth will be in November 2069, when it comes within 1.8 million miles (7.7 times the distance from Earth to the moon.)

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