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Chang'e-2 spacecraft observations of asteroid 4179 Toutatis

Status Report From: arXiv.org e-Print archive
Posted: Monday, November 9, 2015

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Jianghui Ji, Yun Jiang, Yuhui Zhao, Su Wang, Liangliang Yu
(Submitted on 6 Nov 2015)

On 13 December 2012, Chang'e-2 completed a successful flyby of the near-Earth asteroid 4179 Toutatis at a closest distance of 770 meters from the asteroid's surface. The observations show that Toutatis has an irregular surface and its shape resembles a ginger-root of a smaller lobe (head) and a larger lobe (body). Such bilobate shape is indicative of a contact binary origin for Toutatis. In addition, the high-resolution images better than 3 meters provide a number of new discoveries about this asteroid, such as an 800-meter depression at the end of the large lobe, a sharply perpendicular silhouette near the neck region, boulders, indicating that Toutatis is probably a rubble-pile asteroid. Chang'e-2 observations have significantly revealed new insights into the geological features and the formation and evolution of this asteroid. In final, we brief the future Chinese asteroid mission concept.

Comments: 9 pages, 5 figures, accepted to IAU Symposium 318: Asteroids: New Observations, New Models
Subjects: Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:1511.02131 [astro-ph.EP] (or arXiv:1511.02131v1 [astro-ph.EP] for this version)
Submission history
From: Jianghui Ji
[v1] Fri, 6 Nov 2015 16:00:54 GMT (571kb)
http://arxiv.org/abs/1511.02131

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